Simple Lessons: Chicken Raising
Here are a few simple lessons about raising chickens we had to learn:
- Never buy your chicks from an over populated chicken farm unless you know what a sick chicken looks like.
The first time we bought chicks we found a farmer on Craig’s List. We had no idea what a healthy chicken should look like and brought home ten hens and one rooster. Within two months’ time, they had all died. We had no idea why and when we finally figured it out they had died, and our pen had to be disinfected before we could buy more.
- Research breeds.
The first birds we bought were Rhode Island Reds and the hens were great but the rooster was mean and had an issue with chasing our grandson. That rooster ended up in a stockpot, and my grandson took pleasure in eating that bowl of soup! The Barred Plymouth Rocks we have now are friendly and even eat out of hands.
- Learn how to tame a mean rooster.
As I mentioned earlier, we had to stockpot the first mean rooster we had, but now we know how to tame an aggressive rooster. You have to show him who is boss as soon as he starts showing his true colors. We do this by catching them and holding them for a few minutes every time they act up. You have to be sure to hold his legs with one hand and tuck his wings, so he does not flap around and hurt himself.
- Always separate broody hens from the regular flock.
The first time we had a broody hen that actually sat and hatched eggs the other hens killed all the chicks.