Let me thank you up front for taking the time to look at this post. What I hope to do is spark an interest in raising chickens. Chickens were the first livestock that Fern and I raised. We both enjoy them a great deal, but I probably enjoy them a little more than Fern does. If you have read some of my radio posts, then you know I talked about radios in a series of posts, and that's how we're going to do it here. This post is going to be a very general introduction. You ready? Let's start.
A question. Maybe a couple of questions. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? You see, I know the answer. The next question: Will you provide me with input about your region, climate, housing, and special needs that chickens require in your neck of the woods? You see, I live in southeastern Oklahoma - hot summers, mild winters, wet some times of the year and dry other seasons. These are the parameters that I work with. Someone living in Vermont is going to have an entirely different set of circumstances to deal with. That's why I'm asking for your input, so we can help people everywhere get started with chickens.
There is not one perfect chicken, like there is not one perfect car or truck, or radio. If you strictly want lots of white eggs, there are chickens just for that purpose. If your interest is more in the lines of putting meat in the freezer as quickly as possible, then chickens can meet this need also. Chickens come in exotic breeds, Bantams, decorative type birds, fighting chickens, egg layers and meat breeds. So you see there is a large arena for most people to find something to meet their chicken needs. What we are going to focus on here is the dual purpose chicken. It is a good meat bird and a good brown egg layer. I will be providing you with resources: where to find chickens, health needs, butchering, housing and nutritional needs. As I said earlier, there is not one perfect chicken.
Some folks are going to have different opinions about how to raise their favorite chicken, and that's great. What I'm going to give you, is just the way that I do it. Okee-dokee? Okee-dokee.
I use a lot of humor in life and so on occasion, I will try to tell you
a funny story. Are you ready for one? If you take a red chicken and breed it with a yellow chicken you can get an orange chicken, or pretty close to orange anyway. And an orange chicken is an ugly chicken. Not too long ago we had a rooster flog Fern. There was a 2 x 4 handy. I pre-tenderized that rooster before we ate him. But he was still extremely tough. So, this is my humorous anecdote for the week.
On a serious note. Chickens will provide you with a lot of meat, a lot of
eggs, meat that doesn't taste anything like store bought chicken. They're excellent for keeping bugs down. They are fairly easy to start with, relatively inexpensive as far as livestock goes. They will provide
you with a sustainable source of food. In hard times certain breeds will forage much better than others and will provide the majority of their own food. So, to me, chickens are an excellent livestock animal for a homestead. In the near future I'm going to break down individual parts: housing, feed, and other chicken related items.
We'll talk more later. Frank