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Raising Chickens 2.0: No More Coop and Run!

Raising Chickens 2.0: No More Coop and Run! A for profit social enterprise, all about food. Raising Chickens for Meat: Do-it-yourself Pastured Poultry Let’s get the hard part over with first. I hug the hefty white rooster close to my chest to keep him calm on the way to the killing station. With one smooth move, I turn him upside down and place him snuggly in the cone. My left hand continues downward to gently extend his neck. I grab the knife with my right hand and swipe off his head. While he bleeds out, I dry my eyes. Strangely, it’s only because I have life-long affection for chickens that I can kill them at all. Even though I have raised them for years, I never expected to raise chickens for meat. Spring Flock In April 2008, I shared an order of Cornish cross chicks with my friend Jim. In just a few days, they were so heavy I could carry only half the flock at a time or risk breaking the bottom out of the pet carrier. Genetically programmed for less than a two-month lifespan, my flock began to look elderly as they approached their eighth week. By the end of May, our Georgia weather was unseasonably hot. Fall Flock What I Learned

Coming Home to Roost Gathering fresh eggs, with their exquisite pale blue, creamy white, and even chocolate brown shells, is just one of the many charms that comes with keeping chickens. As the recent chicken renaissance continues to gather momentum, coops are becoming an increasingly common sight in urban and suburban back yards around the country. The recession and an unabated interest in local and organic foods have certainly contributed to the enthusiasm for chickens, but many people who keep a small flock do so for a simple reason: Chickens make fantastic pets Getting Started Before purchasing birds or planning for a coop, it is important to check local regulations and homeowner association rules. Sometimes the rules are surprising—pleasantly. 10 Fun Facts About Chickens In communities that outlaw poultry, chicken activists are joining together to challenge the laws. Download Free Chicken Coop Plans Just enter your e-mail address to download these plans! Choosing Breeds Coop Criteria Care and Feeding

Soil and Health Library How to Raise Chickens for Meat - How to Raise Meat Birds If you're interested in raising chickens for meat, not eggs, you'll need to do things a little bit differently. There are some additional steps to consider as well -- for one, slaughtering, processing or butchering the birds when they are fully grown to market size. Chickens raised for meat are commonly called "meat birds" and are usually a different breed from laying hens. Should You Raise Meat Birds? Photo © Freedom Ranger Hatchery This is the critical first step, before you actually get the chicks. Should You Raise Chickens? How to Choose a Meat Bird Breed Photo © Lauren Ware Meat birds are truly a breed apart from laying hens. Cornish Rocks, which are a cross between a Cornish and a White Rock, are the typical meat bird breed, used in factory farms all over the US and on many small family farm operations as well (both pastured and conventional). Freedom Ranger Hatchery Review (a free-range meat bird breed) How to Choose a Coop for Meat Birds How to Start From Day-Old Chicks

A Guide to Raising Chickens in Your Small Yard Your back yard is as local as you can get for food. Thousands of people around the country have started growing organic produce in their yards, and some have even taken it a step further and started raising chickens for fresh eggs. “You’ll know what the chickens ate and how they lived. As with a backyard vegetable garden, backyard chickens give you some measure of self-sufficiency,” explains Christine Heinrichs, author of How to Raise Chickens: Everything You Need to Know (Voyageur Press, 2007). THE DETAILS: About three hens will provide a family of four with plenty of eggs, but before you start salivating over the thought of fresh Sunday-morning scrambled eggs, it’s important to understand what raising backyard chickens entails. MORE DETAILS: If you can cope with chicken poop on a regular basis (it’s an amazing addition to your compost operation!) Prepping for poultry • Is it legal? • Do the math. • Plan a henhouse. Opt for knotty cedar for the floor; the rest can be made out of pine.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook "Getting Started with Chicks" By Jan Hoadley page one Have you considered chickens as a means of producing your own food? Have you looked at the stores and seen the price of eggs, the price of chicken and wondered aloud why you don't raise your own? Have you ordered poultry catalogs, but never ordered poultry because it seemed too difficult and complicated, or too time consuming? Along with rabbits, poultry is one of the most kept food production animals on the homesteads across America. Chickens can offer good, home-grown food in a short amount of time. Fresh eggs are much different than what is in the stores! First decide what you want exactly. Most of these questions aren't something you need a book to answer and there are no right and wrong answers! For strictly meat birds, many hatcheries offer specials on cockerels. For egg layers you'll want to order pullets - which will cost you a bit more but you are guaranteed to get females. Before you order birds you will need to get some basic supplies.

Raising Chickens for Eggs Farmers markets move online It isn’t always easy finding fresh, high-quality food in this country. Supermarkets with their long, complex supply chains usually offer unripe or subpar produce that leaves a lot to be desired. But the usual alternative methods of provision have distinct limitations. Only local farms can deliver the very freshest produce. CSAs require a large up-front cash layout and lock you into eating whatever happens to be delivered. For quality-minded consumers who would like to support local agriculture, it can be a struggle to obtain the freshest food on a consistent basis. But as I discovered in researching my new book on good news in sustainable food, small producers have one magical ace up their sleeve, a tool that could provide a far greater advantage to locally oriented growers than to big nationally focused ones: the Internet. “We’re not foodies,” Tim Will, executive director of Foothills Connect and the brains behind the project, told me. Katherine Gustafson wrote this article for YES!

"Chickens From Scratch" by Sheri Dixon page one The first livestock most new homesteaders bring home to the farm are chickens—and rightly so. They’re small, relatively harmless, provide both meat and eggs, and if they have to and are given the chance, they even rustle up their own grub (literally). The majority of articles written about getting and keeping chickens start with “Buy your chicks”, and describe the pros and cons of hatchery vs. feed store and hatchery vs. other hatchery. Of course you have to start somewhere, so for your FIRST round of chickens, this is the first step. Find chicks and purchase them. If meat birds for yourself and for sale to others are what you are raising, they have a very limited lifespan before becoming a block on the food pyramid, and a lot of people prefer the breeds that are specifically used as dinner—Cornish X being the most popular. For your purposes, this is a good thing, and does not include heavy sighs, hoarding of chocolate, or tearful outbursts on the part of the hens. Meat. Eggs. And repeat.