Sunday, January 27, 2013

Organic chickens, happy backyard chickens, chickens and gardening

No sprout sign yet...(sigh).  But the light is coming back and the girls are starting to lay again.  Jimmy had a conversation with one of the neighbors  a couple of weeks ago who proudly stated that  'another neighbor ' was still  getting full production from her hens.  Jimmy asked if the  the other chicken owning neighbor had a light in her coop,  and a heater, to which the answer was affirmative.  Jimmy had to explain to the lady that part of raising chickens organically is to allow them to take a natural rest  for a few weeks during midwinter. Allowing them a vacation  prolongs both their lives and their quality of  egg production.  To  cut down on chicken illness we regularly feed them  wonderful  homemade mashes of things like pasta with a cayenne pepper sprinkle on it.  The cayenne  takes care of worms and   a lot of other parasites.    It doesn't take much to raise  'organic ' chickens.  A few home remedies   handed down from the old farmers in the family and little benevolent neglect  and  chickens will be happy and  in harmony with their natural cycles.
My girls, being spoiled the way they are,  don't really know how good they have it.  They have plenty of room to roam  and forage.  They have a large,  airtight, watertight, comfy warm coop with good ventilation.  They have  a variety of foods available to them.  They are as protected from predators  as I can make them without keeping them caged up 24/7.  They have  a coop, 2 barns, and several mini shelters available to them. They have a good life.   But still they bitch and peck at the door.  I don't seem to be able to convince them that I don't control the weather.
Backyard chickens  working on the strawberry bed for us.
Rhode Island Red hens  doing a little gardening to get ready for spring planting.

Chickens in Seattle , foraging in the rain


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