From One Chicken Keeper to Another

July 24, 2012
Just checking on you Tilly.  Still broody…yep.  Thought so.

Just like raising children, people have many different opinions and styles regarding how to raise and keep a flock of backyard chickens. Time and time again my heart breaks when I see people telling others that there is only one correct way to do things. There are many ways to do things and do them well. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful options out there to help provide our chickens with a wonderful quality of life.

There are many ways to feed your chickens…
Do you chose organic feed?
Which brand?
What kinds of treats?
Do you add supplements like food grade diatomaceous earth?
Do you let them have free access to as much food as they like or do you limit their daily intake?
Do you share scraps from you table with them?
Do you give them dairy products?
What types of feeders do you use-hanging, trough, PVC tube dispenser, a rubber bowl?

There are many ways to give water to your chickens…
Do you use tap water?
Do you give them water from the hose?
Do you use a metal or plastic waterer?
Do you use a nipple waterer?
Do you use a large black rubber bowl?
Do you add anything to the water like vitamins and electrolytes, apple cider vinegar or make them tea?
If you do add supplements to their water, how often do you do it?

When your chickens are ill…
Do you take them to the vet?
Do you cull them?
Do you separate them from the flock?
Do you keep them in with the flock?
Do you bring them in the house?
Do you give them medicine?There are many ways to house chickens…
Do they have a little house or a big house?
What material is it made out of?
How do you provide shade for your flock?
Do you cover the run?
Do you keep a light on in the coop in the Winter to keep up egg production?
Do you use straw, pine shavings, hay or a combination?
Do you keep decoy eggs in the nesting boxes?

There are many ways to predator proof…
Do you use hardware cloth or chicken wire?
Did you bury the wiring all the way around the coop?
Do you let your flock free-range?
Do you keep them confined?
Do you lock up all the coop doors at night?

My advice is to investigate for yourself. When you discover something that might work for your flock or your coop seek out more than just opinions.Seek out reputable sources with evidence based facts. As you can see from above, just like life there is never one way to do things. Sometimes, certain thing work better for different breeds, during different seasons and climates and in different places across the globe. Sometimes you may have to try a few things in order to determine what works best.  Sometimes what works for one person will not work for you.  The best advice I can share is to do what works best for you.  After all, no one knows your flock better than you.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

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Melissa

Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.

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24 thoughts on “From One Chicken Keeper to Another”

  1. I love this post! I've asked advice from many other chicken keepers, but I've only used what I think is right for me and my birds. It just makes sense. Good job!

    Reply
  2. My friend told me the other day that I am making her think chickens are a lot of work and I thought,"what work, this is so fun." Yes I do try to keep them cool and spot clean the coop daily as we have a small yard and close neighbors but I don't feel like it takes much time. How little does she want to do? Hmmm. You are right. We all have to give care we feel is important.

    Reply
  3. Your blog has given me many ideas and great tips for our chickens. Some we've implemented, others don't work for us. Just like raising a family, how you look after your chickens is a personal choice!
    Thanks for another great post!
    Debbie 🙂

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  4. Glad I read this post today. I am a new chicken mama and loving every minute of it! Your blog has provided me with lots of good information and things to think about. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Glad to have you with us Teresa! I am so happy to hear that the blog has been a source of information to you. That makes me so happy to hear. Congrats on the new chickens too!

      Reply
  5. This is so true, living with chickens wheather a small back yard or a large farm of them I have found is a live and learn as you go what works for one may not work for another. Mine have never had bumble foot or any of the other issues, I have only had 2 egg bound in all the years of raising my flock. I will never tell someone how to raise their flock all I want to do is suggest from my own experience of what I did with mine. Thank you so much for posting this.

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  6. You have a beautiful extended family babe, love your blog 🙂
    My flock let me know what they want…they are quite spoiled….no pen/run for us, they love our 1/4 acre grounds, especially my plants and vegetable patch…well I look at this way, at least they are fertilizing
    everything for me lol….rather than make them a secure run, we secured the perimeter of our grounds instead, 6 ft wooden fencing and hardware cloth 20 inches beneath into the ground. They have a secure 8ft x 8ft shed raised on concrete blocks. Oh and food? anything and everything, supplemented with chick, flock raiser and layer (depending on age) Thanks for sharing your experiences, *hugs* Heather x

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  7. Hope this is the place to share my sad story, I love Chickens dearly and was raised on a farm so I am not a stranger to Chickens.
    Of course I grew up and married and lived in the city so no place for my precious Chickens.
    Than when husband retired we moved to a farming town and I started raiseing Chickens again and had over 200, and they all lived a long wonderful live, had Turkeys also.
    Now since my husband passed away I remarried and moved to Fl. I started my wonder pets again and had them for just a few days under a year, and some one turned me, you see this is not zoned for farm animals, did not matter to so many as every one in the neighbor had chickens or some kind of animal, but why some one did not like mine I will never know. I think I know who she was, as she is not a friendly person.
    So if I many I will just enjoy everyone else and there chicken.
    I now have me a couple parakeets, 2 Amazone Parrots and I know no one can make me give them up, and I love them dearly. Lot of wild animals as I live in a forest. Thanks for your web. Norma

    Reply
    • Oh Norma, I am so sorry that this happened to you! Maybe one day you will be able to keep chickens again. You never know! I the meantime, the parakeets (we have two) are so sweet and the parrots sound amazing! I am SO very happy that you have found a way to keep birds in your life. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I can only imagine what you have been through.

      Reply
  8. I'VE HAD CHICKEN'S SINCE 2011, THEY ARE MY STRESS REDUCER'S, I'M A RETIRED FEDERAL WORKER/ DISABLED VIET NAM VETERAN, I MOVED TO SOUTHERN IL, MOST OF THE PEOPLE AROUND ME HAVE CHICKEN'S. MOST OF MY LEARNING I LEARNED FROM YOUTUBE, AND OLDER PEOPLE THAT OWN CHICKEN'S. IF I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO SOME DAY'S I'LL SIT AND WATCH THE CHICKEN'S DO THIER THING, WE HAVE ALOT OF HATER'S OUT THERE, THAT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CHICKEN'S, THAT HAVE THERE FOOLISH LAW IN PLACE, THEY ARE BETTER THAN A DOG OR CAT, PLUS YOU MAKE ALOT OF FRIEND'S BE BLESSED , I WILL BE 60 YRS OLD ON AUG. 25TH.

    Reply
    • I can complete understand where you are coming from. I too have to admit that I was in the dark about keeping chickens until I feel in love with a flock of my own. There is something that is so magical about them. My only regret is that I did not get them soon. Thank you so much for the comment.

      Reply
    • Any advice for me. I have a silver spangled Hamburg chicken that is in a cage in my room she is happy and in no way is neglected but I need advice on how I can limit the mess she makes on the floor with the pine shavings please and thank you.

      Reply
    • Perhaps you could add one of those see-through mesh sewn seed guards that you can put on the cages of indoor birds. It goes all the way around the cage and has elastic to keep it in place. Keeps them from spilling seeds from their cage.

      Reply

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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.