March 14, 2011

Chicken Fever

Roosting house structure
The hens are now laying between five and seven eggs a day. That adds up fast! To provide a better quality product and increase egg sales, I've been working on a new, semi-portable chicken house that will allow the chickens to free-range.  I'm also looking into all natural, non-GMO or organic feed. Organic feed tends to be cost prohibitive but I've found an all natural, non-GMO feed that isn't too much more expensive that what I'm using right now.

In order to get the chickens out in the pasture, I'm building a roosting house and a nesting house.  These will be placed in the pasture along with water and feed receptacles.  The food and water will be about 50 feet away from the houses to encourage the chickens to range and forage.  They ranging area will be enclosed with electric wire to keep the chickens from ending up in the subdivision behind the farm and to keep the predators out.

I've been talking about my chickens to everyone I meet. It's amazing how many people are actively looking for farm-fresh, free-range eggs. I'm heading to the livestock sale this weekend in hopes of buying some hens that are already laying so I can expand the flock.  This fall, we'll be hatching our own eggs and letting the chicks mature over the winter so they're ready to start laying this time next year.

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