If you’re looking to raise chickens for meat and eggs, then this article is a must-read. In this guide, we will cover all aspects of raising organic hens. It’s cheaper than buying eggs in the store and you can get them any time of year.
Plus, raising your own chickens is fun!
However, there are some things you should know before you start raising chickens.
Organic chicken farming
For those looking to start their own organic chicken farming (or, as we like to call it, “chicken ranching”), here are some things to consider:
Chickens are very sensitive animals and require a lot of care. You will need to make sure they’re always healthy, fed properly, and comfortable.
Why chickens don’t lay eggs frequently? – In order for your chickens to lay eggs on a regular basis, you’ll need them in a coop where they can have privacy from predators and other birds who might steal their food. However, if the coop is too large or open-air then there may be little protection against weather conditions such as rain or snow.
In addition to providing shelter for your chickens’ comfort during cold temperatures or hot summer days-you’ll also want them protected from excessive sunlight exposure which could cause health issues down the line if left unchecked over time! On average each hen lays one egg per day, so if you have multiple hens; – more eggs for you.
Can you raise chickens for both eggs and meat?
Yes, you can! There are a lot of dual-purpose breeds.
What is a dual-purpose breed? – Well, a breed of chicken that is good at laying a high amount of eggs and grows fast(later can be culled for meat).
The most famous dual-purpose breeds are:
You can learn more about how many eggs they lay per year, temperament, and broodiness.
How to feed chickens organically?
The organic diet of a chicken consists of a broad spectrum of foods, including organic feed, grass or hay, insects and bugs (if you live in an area that has them), kitchen scraps from your home kitchen, grains such as wheat and oats which can be grown on your land.
If you’re not interested in cultivating your own grain crops for feeding chickens organically then you can purchase organic feed from the store.
There are many different kinds available including chicken scratch for chicks to chick starter crumbles for baby birds that have just started eating solid food after leaving the brooder box.
Can I give fruits to my chickens as a treat? – As far as what types of fruits go into their diet: apples are considered one of their favorites but bananas are also popular choices among owners who keep backyard flocks since they contain sufficient levels of protein which helps promote healthy muscle development when fed regularly.
Also, we have separate articles on what can chickens eat, for example;
- Can chickens eat dry cat food?
- Can chickens eat green collards?
- Can chickens eat grapes?
- Can chickens eat sweet feed?
Nuts such as almonds add another layer of complex flavor while providing additional nutrients such as essential fatty acids like Omega 3s.
Troubles with your chickens on a small farm
You might be wondering if chickens are worth the trouble. On a small farm, they can be messy, noisy, destructive, and dangerous. They’re expensive to feed and keep. And sometimes they smell really bad.
But you know what? Chickens are also loyal pets that help with work around the homestead (like digging up worms for you!).
Plus they provide eggs that taste so much better than store-bought ones—and all your neighbors will think you’re cool once they see how many eggs your chickens are laying every day!
Access to fresh grass
Grass is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also an excellent source of fiber, natural antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Assess your commitment.
How much time you have to spend with your chickens: Do you have a couple of hours each day to play with them, or can you only spare 15 minutes here and there? If it’s the latter, then you should consider getting chicks instead of full-grown chickens. They’re easy to handle and won’t need as much attention.
How much space for your chickens: It doesn’t matter if they’re confined indoors or allowed access outdoors — if there isn’t enough room for them to move around freely, they won’t be happy members of your family.
Your coop must also be secure from predators, so don’t skimp on building materials when constructing one for your flock.
What kind of commitment do I want from my chickens? Some people will find that raising backyard hens is a hobby that gives them plenty of satisfaction without overwhelming their household responsibilities; others might decide it’s best suited as a secondary source of income, and some may even feel compelled by an emotional attachment toward their feathered friends (in which case we say go right ahead!).
Chickens are a great source of food and can be raised easily on a small farm.
They are also easy to butcher, so once you’ve raised enough chickens for eggs and meat, you’ll have plenty of chicken parts left over—including the bones.
With these extra bones in hand (and some extra time on your hands), you can use them to make a batch of homemade bone broth! It’s simple: just add water and simmer for several hours until it has reduced by half.
Then strain out any bits of meat (or skin) that may have fallen into the pot during the cooking process. The remaining liquid will be thick with gelatinous goodness from all those roasted bones—a perfect addition to soups or stews.
BTW, if you are from Texas, we have a separate article ~ 5 Best Chickens for Texas (heat hardy, temperament, and origin)
Raising chickens for meat and eggs is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. They are great companions, and it’s fun to watch them grow up and become independent. You can raise them on your own, or start an egg business with your friends!
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com