Chickens 101

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11 Steps to becoming a Chicken Farmer:

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  1. Choose your breeds & buy your chicks  (See this blog post, and check out these hatcheries: Mcmurray Hatchery, Belt Hatchery)
  2. Set up your brooder (see blog post
  3. Raise healthy, happy chicks  (Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, BackYardChickens.com)
  4. In the meantime, build your coop & yard  (see blog post)
  5. Fort-knoxify your coop & learn about predators  (here’s why)
  6. Chicken-proof your garden (they love veggies)
  7. Stock up on feed and treats (find your local feed store)
  8. Get good at troubleshooting  (BackYardChickens.com is an invaluable resource, and here’s one example of the bizarre things that can happen)
  9. Eat lots of eggs.
  10. Eat even more eggs. (Try this for tips.)
  11. Start selling or giving away eggs to everyone you know.


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2 responses to “Chickens 101

  1. Bethany

    Do you guys suggest a guard donkey? My other half and I are starting a small farm and are considering what animals to get. We definitely want chickens and maybe a few cows for milk and some goats. I’ve heard that if you get a donkey it will protect the other animals from foxes/coyotes or whatever. What are your thoughts?

    • Unfortunately I have no experience with donkeys. We have had alpacas and LGDs. The alpacas guard themselves, but did not guard our sheep; the LGDs made it their life’s goal to escape from the pasture. In the end, we have decided that good fencing is our best protection against predators. One of our neighbors used a guard donkey with his sheep flock, but I did see dead lambs in his pasture — not sure if they were killed by predators or died of other causes. So I don’t really have any advice to offer on your particular situation. Good luck!

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