Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Back Forty Wants to Know!
1. Do you have a particular favorite breed of chicken, and if so what is it and why do you prefer it? Or if more than one, which ones, etc? I love bannies, Frizzles to be exact. Bannies are great mothers, and although tiny, great canning meat. As for the large breed birds, I don't have a preference, except I really don't care for Leghorn roosters. Those are some mean suckers!
2. Do you use your chickens for your family, to sell, or both? Meat, or eggs, or both? All of the above.
3. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start out raising them, other than reading some good books on the subject? Reading is super important, but nothing beats hands on experience. Chickens are one of the easier livestock's to deal with. Just make sure you have some good fencing to keep neighbors and other animals out.
4. Do you primarily keep your chickens in a coop/enclosed chicken yard, or do they roam your property? My birds roam, but I do lock them up at night, in a yard and coop.
5. Do you ever let them into your garden? If no, do you have a fence or something to keep them out? I do allow them in the garden before anything starts to fruit, after that they stay out unless they want to get eaten. I have a fence that keeps all the animals out until I want them in.
6. Do you ever use a chicken tractor, and if so, is it for meat birds only? do you use electric/ net poultry fencing? I'm interested in which has worked for you and which has not. What has been your experience with pastured poultry 'a la the Joel Salatin sort (follow behind the livestock grazings at the optimum time), if that applies? No, I do not use a tractor, but have thought about it.
7. Do you keep chickens year-round, or raise them for seasonal processing? Year round
8. How many chickens of a certain type do you raise at one time (what works best for you as far as how many to raise at a time?) It varies. I raise 30 chicks at a time. Sometimes a few of those die, some times my adult birds go missing, and sometimes we cull.
These questions come via, The Back Forty. She would like as many chicken wranglers as possible to answer. So, got 'em, answer 'em.