Chicks = Fertilizer & Bug Patrol

The little Buff Orpington chicks arrived and I’m pretty excited about this breed.  I’ve raised them before and if memory serves me correct they’re a pretty peaceful self sufficient chicken.

I prefer raising one breed of chicken verses a variety of breeds, this way if I decide to incubate or let the hens brood I know what my available stock is for trading or selling purposes.  I’m not a big fan of crossbreeding because of previous experiences.


Why Chickens?

A few years ago my husband and I raised meat chickens (x-rocks) and it was an unpleasant experience.  I enjoyed serving farm raised chicken for dinner but we decided there had to be a better breed to provide our nutritional needs.

We’ve raised several dual purpose breeds in the past and still haven’t found the flavor we’re searching for; we’re hoping the Buff Orpingtons will be the winner. They’re typically raised for eggs but are also good for meat.

I’m pretty practical we don’t raise chickens for enjoyment; it’s for the benefit of improving the land and living a healthier lifestyle.

Fertilizer

Another benefit to raising chickens is the fertilizer.  I order my chicks online and this time I only purchased twenty-five.  They’ll be indoors for two weeks before heading out to the mobile shelter.

I like to use hay for the brooder bedding during this time because once it’s all mucked up I can use it in the garden.  It’s a fantastic fertilizer and later this week I’ll share an example.

Once the chickens head outdoors they continue to fertilizer everywhere they go leaving us with a nice lush farm, fertilized the most natural way possible.

Bug Patrol

If you’ve ever been to the country in Texas during the summer you know that grasshoppers are always in abundance, bugs in general come in large quantities here.  Normally I get my chicks in June, this year time slipped by and I’m getting a late start.

The bugs are in full swing and I’m looking forward to when these chicks will be roaming the fields cleaning up.  We don’t use pesticide on our farm; depleting bugs is the job of wild birds and the birds we raise before the freeze arrives. Keeping things natural is really important it but it’s better for the land.

Summing Up!

Unfortunately my chickens are not pets so they don’t have names.  I raise them as natural as possible for bug patrol and natural fertilizer.

This is incorporated free range style where they have a fenced in 4 acre farm to roam with many hiding spots and a mobile coop where they house at night and lay eggs during the day.

For me knowing where our food comes from is important; by serving fresh eggs and farm raised meat year round we feel healthier.  I’m Curious what chicken breeds do you have and for what purpose?

7 comments

  1. Patty Sumner says:

    Carole… I will be doing my coop for pure enjoyment…lol I am excited to learn from you… I am looking for some barnwood to begin my coop…I want eggs…You are going to laugh but I intend to name my chickens after "church ladies" I have known in our years of ministry..:) If I raise chickens for only eggs.. what are the best breeds? Do you order your chicks or buy local? I look forward to reaping from all your knowledge…. Thanks for this post.. Blessings!

    1. You might look on craigslist for barnwood – that would be fun to work with. Naming chickens is neat – we're just trying to do the whole self sufficient thing so it doesn't work. However some of my sheep ewes have names and that's fun! Love it though after the church ladies wait till the chicks get a little older to name because you can match personalities. Breeds for eggs- I like araucanas – they lay green, blue and yellowish shell eggs. I also like polish not the best layers but consistent with about 3 eggs per week. Great personalities and a quieter bird. Another favorite would be the buffs, they're great egg layers and pretty docile. Those would be my favorite breeds because they work well in the garden. (Less destructive if you free range too) I buy my chicks online because I when I buy I purchase bulk and one breed type. Sometimes you can buy chicks from craigslist or if you have any trade days or down south we call them flea markets. Some are better than others. Places like tractor supply will have chicks in the spring but they don't normally sort them by breeds. Hope that helps – super neat to chat with you – Love your energy it comes through in your writing. -Carole

  2. We love raising chickens. It's a bit of work to keep things clean but totally worth it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Chickens can be fun I discovered quail this spring and have put more attention on them in my garden. Both have so many great benefits on our farm. Thanks for stopping by to share. -Carole

  3. Anonymous says:

    I recently found your blog and really enjoy your practical insights. We don't raise chickens, but our neighbor has Rhode Island Reds. He gets them at the farm auction and some are hens that were used in egg production but are no longer at their peak. He seems to get a decent amount of eggs from them (enough for a small family.) It is kind of sad that some of the hens have permanent scarring on their necks because before he got them they were kept solely in small coops and could only stretch out their heads, not turn around or move much. I share your philosophy of getting food locally if you can't raise it yourself. We get meat, chicken and eggs from a farm close by, that raises grass-fed beef, heritage breed pork, lambs and chickens. It is more out of pocket than shopping at the supermarket but we know the farmers and that they are using humane methods, and we feel we are eating healthy, high quality food. My son is currently a Peace Corps volunteer and he just told us he learned to kill a chicken, since chickens are only sold alive where he is posted. Not too many young people who have not grown up on farms have that experience any more.

    1. Thanks for sharing – one of the biggest reasons we purchase our small farm was to teach our kiddos a more self sufficient lifestyle before they headed out into the world. I find that where it might be a little more expensive to eat healthier in the long it's actually comparable because we spend way less time being sick and going to the doctor is rare. That's awesome you've chosen to support local farmers – I love that and I know for me when I eat fresh farm raised I have more energy. I agree sad how many animals and poultry are raised, it actually bothers me because I don't understand how anyone can think it's natural. Recently watched Food Inc – took me awhile to go there and I decided to focus on the positives and be thankful for knowing better. – Was nice to hear from you. -Carole

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