Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Not To Feed Your Chickens

Hey Chicken Raising Chicks,

Today I am going to share with you what foods to that you should not feed your chickens. Some of these may be surprising but they are true.

We (before finding this list) have feed our chickens several of the foods on here. Thankfully, it wasn't a large quantity, but still, it wasn't good for them. We want our chickens to be as healthy as possible, so we try and keep them happy with foods that are safe to eat.

      Apple seeds
           Balsam Apple 
        Balsam Pear 
         Dried Beans
      Fast Food 
             Flower seeds
         Junk Food  
         Lima Beans
           Moldy Foods 
Raw meat
Rotten or spoiled foods
Sugar beet

These are very odd things and when I read these I was very surprised. As I said, we have fed our chickens many of these foods, especially the vegetables.

Please be on the lookout for my next post What Your Chickens Can Eat. And remember, if your chickens eat something on this list by mistake, or you have fed it to them before, don't worry. It isn't good for them and we need to try to keep their diets as safe as possible, but in small quantities, it isn't the end of the world either.

Well thanks for stopping by and hope ya'll will come back soon,


Friday, August 30, 2013

Beginning With Chicks Series: Putting Your Chickens Outside

Hey Chicken Raising Chicks,

This is the fifth and last post in our series Beginning With Chicks. If you have missed any of the posts and would like to read them here is our series announcement which contains links for all of the previous posts in the series.

Most people wonder when to put there chicks outside. Well, I'd like to answer to that question.

When they begin feathering out or at 6 weeks.

 Here is also some tips on putting them outside.

1. If  it is cold outside can they still stay out?

Not a good idea. They are still chicks they will get too cold and could possibly die.
If you already got rid of the brooder you had them in you can get a heat lamp and put it over the cage, but it is best to bring them inside.

2. When will chickens start laying?

It will vary by breed, but most chickens start to lay at about 5-6 Months.Some chickens will not lay eggs in their nesting boxes, they will lay eggs in the coop or yard.Our chickens did that at first but we taught them to lay in the nesting boxes. The best way to do that is to put a golf ball or plastic Easter egg in the nesting box. The chickens will think it is one of their own eggs and they will start to lay next to it. Once they have gotten the idea you can remove the golf ball.

3. Bedding can be added.

 Bedding can be added to reduce smell. But if the bedding gets wet you have to  get it out or it will smell worse.

4. How much space does a chicken need?

 Each chicken needs about 3-4 square feet. Chickens need to run around. If they are crowded the coop will begin to smell.

5. How old do chickens need to be to eat adult chicken food?

They need to be 18-20 weeks old. If they are any younger it can make them very sick and even possibly kill them.

6. Keeping your pen predator proof.

 Most people have trouble with predators killing their chickens.

If you have any bricks you can place them around the bottom of the coop. Make sure that if there is chicken wire on your coop it is small enough and that there are no holes anywhere. Raccoon's are very good at finding a hole and pulling the chicken wire big enough to climb inside.

Now you can put your chicks outside safely,



Friday, August 16, 2013

Beginning With Chicks Series: Picking Up Your Chicks

Hey Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today's post is the third part of our five part Beginning with Chicks Series. If you would like to read more of the series, please visit the series announcement post for the full list of links.

Today I will be talking about bringing your chicks home.

Either you will get them in the mail or you will pick them up. We will first start with getting them in the mail. I may  need to inform some parents that  if you get them in the mail you might not want to open the box with small kids around, because in the delivery some may have died and seeing this may upset some children.

Okay so lets get started.

1. Going to get your chicks from the post office.

Make sure that your chicken pen is ready for the chicks. The chicks need a warm place ready when they get to their new home. Make sure the chicks have water and nice clean bedding. The chicks may be thirsty they have gone a long way without water. Okay now if everything is good you can go and get your new family members!

2. Going to get your chickens from the store.

Okay same with getting your chicks in the mail before you leave make sure that their pen is ready. This includes water, feed, bedding, and a heat lamp. Without these things your chicks will die. Also take some water and feed with you. Whenever we go to get our chicks we take water and feed and they always seem  hungry and thirsty. Also the pet store may give you a box but you may want to take one just in case they don't.

Now you can go and get your chicks. Good luck!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Beginning With Chicks Series: Preparing For Your Chicks

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today's post is the second part of our five part Beginning with Chicks Series. If you missed the first post you can find it on our series announcement post, which contains all the available links for the series.

We'll be discussing setting up your chicks in their temporary home.

When you first bring your chicks home, or when they come in the mail, they will most likely need food and water as soon as possible, so its good to have this prepared in advance.

During the time your chickens are kept inside (6 weeks) they will need to be kept in a contained space. Some people use a brooder, but you don't have to go to all that trouble. We keep ours in a large plastic container (granted we have never ordered more then 10 chicks at a time). Some people even use a cardboard box, though I personally wouldn't recommend that because they have to be changed out a lot due to the smell. 

Whatever you choose, just make sure they have plenty of room. The usual space needed per chick is 1 square foot for the first couple of weeks and by four weeks they'll need 2 square feet. And you'll need room for the water and food.

You'll also want to keep in mind that some chicks are escape artists and will try to jump out of the cage as they get older. Not all chicks do this. We haven't had any problem with our Silkie Bantams doing this, but every Ameraucana we've owned has tried this at least once.

After you've chosen your cage, container, box, or brooder, you'll need to add some bedding to the bottom of it. You cane easily use hay or grass but we have always preferred America's Choice Bedding Mini Flakes.

It's very easy to use, absorbent, and if your chicks consume these, it won't hurt them in any way.

Why do you need bedding? Well, you don't have to have it, but I definitely recommend it. It will help with the smell and make cleaning out the container/brooder ten times easier.

Now for the feed and water. You'll need to purchase at least one feeder and waterer.

Harris Farms Baby Chick Feeder For Quart Jar             Harris Farms Flip Top Chick Feeder, 20 in. L

There are many different types of feeders available. The two above are often popular choices for those who have a smaller number of chicks.

If you have a larger number of chicks, or would like to fill the feeder less, then perhaps this would be a good option.

Harris Farms Hanging Feeder, 10 lb.

As for waterers.

Harris Farms Plastic Quart Jar for Feeding or Watering Small Chicks Millside 3 gal. Plastic Poultry Fountain

These are some good options.

All of these feeders and waterers can be found on for reasonable prices. Most of them can also be purchased at a feed store, or another online source. Shop around until you decide what is best for you.

Chick Starter is our feed of choice.

Medicated feed is what we usually use, though I would recommend organic feed for anyone who wants to sell their eggs. If you use the medicated feed (which contains Amprolium, a vaccine to prevent Coccidiosis, an parasite in the digestive tract of chickens.) you can not label your eggs as "organic".

You might want to do some research on feed options before you make your final decision.

The last thing you'll need is pretty dependent on location and weather.

A heat lamp. Not all chicken owners need these.

We are currently raising chicks and as you can imagine in August in Texas we aren't using the lamp. We used it the first two weeks just as a precautionary, but we haven't needed it since.

If you do need a heat lamp, you don't need to buy anything expensive.

You don't have to buy a lamp that says "Heat Lamp" on the package. Many people recommend a 250 watt bulb, and remember, you can move the lamp further away if you need to. Your chicks will let you know what to do because if they are too hot they will all be around the edge of the brooder/container is they are too cold they will all be really close together.

Just remember that chicks need it to be 95 degrees for their first week, and you can subtract by five for each week until they are ready for the great outdoors.

The lamp you'll be using will probably look like this:

If you have any questions or comments about something I didn't cover please leave a comment below or email me at

Thank you for stopping by to read our new series Beginning With Chicks and I hope you'll come back next week for our new post Beginning With Chicks: Bringing Your Chicks Home.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beginning With Chicks Series: Ordering Your Chicks

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today's post is the first part of our new blog series Beginning With Chicks. If you're reading this at a later time, the rest of the series may have already been published. Please view the series announcement post to find links to all available posts.

Today I am going to talk about ordering your chicks.

There are four main ways to do this. 


The first way is directly through a hatchery. There are many to choose from. But there is one thing you need to be aware of. Most hatcheries have a minimum order or 25 chicks. Not all of them, but most do. This is to ensure the safety of the chicks as well as lower shipping costs. But unless you want, and are prepared for, a large flock, this can be a problem. That's where the second option comes in.

* Some hatcheries offer a free chick bonus when you order.

* Not always will you have room for 25+ chickens.

I can't truly give very many pros and cons because all hatcheries are different. If their is a certain one you are leaning towards try searching online for reviews.  

Feed Stores

Ordering through feed stores is often the best way if you want a small amount of chickens. Not all feed stores order chicks, but there are quite a few that do. If you are unsure about your local feed store just give them a call.

Feed stores usually order from hatcheries as well, but since they meet the 25 chick requirement through their own standard order of chickens (usually Rhode Island Reds, Ameraucanas, Orpingtons etc.), you can order as many as you'd like.

*You'll be able to see the chicks at the feed store before you actually purchase them.
*You can order a small number of chicks and it shouldn't be a problem.

*Not all employees know what they're doing. We had one person who worked at a local feed store send us home with the wrong chicks.
*If you are ordering bantams and the are in the same shipment as regular chickens there can be a bully in the mix.

Local Farms or Chicken Raisers

The third option is not always available and often depends on your location. If you live anywhere near a chicken raiser or a farm you might be able to purchase chicks from them. Feel free to stop by and ask, the worst thing they can say is no.

If they do sell chicks you may want to ask their price so you can compare it to that of a hatchery or feed store. You'll also want to make sure they have the breed(s) you're looking for.

Another thing you should ask them is if you will be able to pick the chicks out yourself. Many people won't have a problem with you picking out which chicks you want yourself. If they don't want you picking yourself you may want to ask around to see how reliable they were about giving you the correct breed.

*Most people selling the chicks will let you pick which ones you want. This is often a fun things for kids to do, as well as adults.
*You can personally see how the chickens are being cared for. When you order from a hatchery, you don't always know what's really going on.

*In a farm where a lot of chickens live together, it is often hard to be positive about the breed of the chick. So if you want a very specific breed and won't settle for a cross-breed, this may not be your best option.

My Pet

The fourth option is a great website called

This is basically the same as ordering through a hatchery, except for one great thing.

You can order (depending on your location) as few as three chicks. So if you really want to order by mail, but just don't need that many chicks, this is your best option.

We have never ordered from them ourselves, but have heard great reviews from people who did.

*Small minimum requirement
*They are the only company in the nation that offers sexed bantam chicks.
*They have a great "live chick rate" and only 1 out of every 100 chicks has a problem during shipping. And even if you are one of the rare people that does receive a chick that has died, they will reimburse you for it.

*They are not a hatchery themselves, but a brokerage for Meyer Hatchery. Some people have a problem with this because the feel that My Pet Chicken isn't very upfront about this.
*They have had some negative reviews about not sending the correct breeds.
*Shipping costs can be expensive.

I'm going to walk you through the first and second option, as you can probably handle the third option on your own. (If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email, or leave a comment below.) And the fourth option will relatively be the same as the second when it comes to ordering.

Whether you decide to order from a feed store of hatchery, the first step would be to obtain a catalog from the hatchery you'll be ordering from, or the hatchery your local feed store uses. You can also check online to see if the hatchery has a website. This is so you can look at all of the available breeds and colors they offer and decide what you like. You may also want to research the breeds and check their temperament, egg production rate, and typical life span. And, if you want meat birds, you'll want to know which breeds are best for that.

After you have decided on which breeds you like and how many of each you want you can place you order. Keep in mind that not all breeds, or certain colors, are available year-round, so you'll want to call the hatchery and confirm that your choices are available.

For most hatcheries you can order online, by phone, and by the insert that comes in the catalog.

For most feed stores you can order in person and by phone.

When choosing the amount of chicks you order it is always a good policy to order a couple more than you want. Not all chicks make it through shipping and even if they do you could still lose some in the next few days. This is completely normal and isn't something you did wrong or didn't do right. It happens to everyone.

Whether you order from a feed store or a hatchery you will probably get an estimate for when your chicks should arrive. Sometimes these estimates can be off a day or two, so be prepared.

If your chicks are coming in the mail, you will usually get a call from the post office that they have arrived. When you open the package it would probably be good to do so away from your children (if you have any) because, as I said before, some of the chicks may not have made it through shipping.

Thank you for stopping by to read our new series Beginning With Chicks and I hope you'll come back next week for our new post Beginning With Chicks: Preparing For Your Chicks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Blog Series: Beginning With Chicks

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today I would like to announce a new blog series that Miranda and I have been working on.

Beginning with Chicks is basically a five part series that will publish every Friday in August. It covers everything from ordering your chicks to when they can be transferred to a chicken coop outside.

Below is a list that shows the title of each post. After each one is published I will provide a link for it.

Ordering Your Chicks by Cassandra Hart

Preparing For Your Chicks by Cassandra Hart

Picking Up Your Chicks by Miranda Hart

Caring For Them by Cassandra Hart

Putting Your Chicks Outside by Miranda Hart

I know right now isn't the usual time to order chicks, as many people begin in the Spring. However, I thought that by sharing this now it will better prepare you for when you do own chickens.

When Spring makes its glorious return I'll be sure to share this again.

Thank you all for joining me, and I hope to see you back this Friday for the first part of Beginning With Chicks.

Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Tips On Keeping Your Chickens Healthy and Happy

Hey Chicken raising chicks,

Here are five tips on how to keep your chickens healthy and happy.

1. Keep your chicken coop clean.

 Chickens love when there coop is clean. They can run around more.  Their food and water has to be clean as well.

2. Let your chickens run around.

If you keep your chickens in a pen you need to let in run around out of the pen.
About a couple of hours for about three times a week.

3. Use bedding.

If your chicken coop has nesting boxes then in it it needs some soft grass, hay or bedding. This will keep your chickens happy and comfortable.

4. Treats

Chickens love feed but they also enjoy little leftovers. We feed our chickens left over corn, beans, and other vegetables.

5. Feed them bugs!

Have a bug problem in your garden or yard feed them to your chickens. Chickens love bugs especially  worms. We have tons of grub worms and the chickens just love them!

                               Now your chickens should be healthy and happy!  Thanks -


Friday, July 26, 2013

Snake Problem? Let's Fix It!

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

This Summer we, and many others, are having a bit of a snake problem.

There are many lakes in our areas that are reporting snake sightings by the dozens.

If you own chickens or other birds this can be a problem for you.

There are many breeds of snakes to be wary of, but a definite worry is the chicken snake.

File:Red Chicken Snake Image 002.jpg
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Chicken Snakes can vary in color from light brown to dark brown to jet black.

So how can you tell if what you're dealing with is a chicken snake?

Well, they tend to hide out in your coop doing this:

Pretty sight huh?

This creatures are an absolute pain to pretty much all chicken raisers.

We recently lost about 12 eggs to one of these sneaky little things.

So, what the heck should you do?

Well first I want to make something clear.

There are a lot of people who have a problem killing snakes. I understand completely and I agree that not all snakes should be killed when you catch them. After all, not all snakes are poisonous or even harmful. Some of them are actually beneficial, such as the rat snake.

However, I personally think that a chicken snake should always be killed when it is caught.


Because chicken snakes are very harmful. Not usually to you, but to your flock.

A single chicken snake can eat dozens of eggs, and then stick around until he's hungry again and then eat more. And on top of that, if your chickens are small enough or if they try and fight back when the snake is eating the eggs, the snake could harm or even kill your chicken.

Even if you catch the snake and release it before it does any damage to your flock, you might be causing someone else a bunch of trouble when that very same snake finds a new chicken coop to raid.

Now, that is my opinion and I ask you to consider it, but the choice is ultimately up to you.

There are many humane snake traps. Simply searching "snake traps" on Google gave me about 4,050,000 results. And you could always find some other way to catch it. I've read that spreading mothballs around the outside of the coop helps keep snakes away, as they hate the smell.

However, if we are agreed on the idea of the chicken snake = varmint then read on.

 The tried and true way of all of our great grandparents is to knock its head clean off with a hoe or shovel. Heck, my great uncle could snap its head off with his bare hands.

But, due to Miranda's any my research after our snake incident, we have found another solution.

Wooden Eggs.

Yep. The kind that can be purchased for about a dollar.

The idea is to keep the wooden eggs in an area where the snake will likely eat them. If you don't mind sacrificing a few other eggs then you could place them all together. Keep them away from your chickens so that they don't get defensive and try to save the eggs.

If the snake eats any of the wooden eggs he should die, as its body can't simulate it. You could also use golf balls.

This is by far the most simple solution and many chicken raisers swear by it.

But, as our snake left after he ate a dozen eggs and injured our rooster, we didn't get to try it out ourselves.

So if this works for you, please let us know.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Got Eggs? Candling Eggs To Check for Fertility

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Many people who own chickens, at least at some point, discover that one of their hens has decided to go "broody".  AKA You know how, every morning when you've collected eggs, you've been wondering why one of your chickens isn't laying? Well..... she has been! 

And now, you have before you the chance for some free chicks.


You see, not always are the eggs fertile. Most of the time at least some of them are, but some hens (especially Silkies)  go broody for any eggs. Fertile or infertile.

The best way to check for egg fertility is through candling.

Candling has been used for the longest time and seems to be the best method. But you can only candle the eggs after the have been incubating a minimum of three days. Freshly laid eggs can look the same as an infertile egg. 

All you need is a bright flashlight and your egg. (You might also want a store bought egg for comparison.)

I am providing you with this tutorial from WikiHow because there are pictures for you to compare to.

There are a lot of people who say that another way to check the eggs is by placing the egg in water. DO NOT DO THIS. Eggs are porous, which means that placing one in water can kill the chick. DO NOT DO THIS. 

So far candling is the safest way.

And, when all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is just let the hen take care of the eggs for 21 days and see what happens. 

We often find that this is the best way to do things. It usually doesn't hurt anything to leave her be and wait it out.

I hope this helped and have a great day,

Monday, July 15, 2013

What the Heck is a "Bantam"? And Why You Might Want One!

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

"What the heck is a 'bantam'?"

"Is that some kind of musical instrument?"

"A breed of snake?"


A bantam is a smaller variety of a standard sized chicken.

Well actually I just discovered there are many different bantams, (view that odd list here) but we're here to talk about chickens so we'll just stick with what people mainly mean when they use the word bantam.

According to Wikipedia:

"Most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, sometimes referred to as a miniature. Miniatures are usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed, but they are expected to exhibit all of the standard breed's characteristics."

Think about dog breeds for example. There are a lot of dogs who have miniature counterparts. They both have basically the same characteristics, they are simply different in size.

Here is a picture courtesy of Wikipedia that shows the difference between a Japanese Bantam (left) and an Orpington (right). The Bantam is about half the size of the Orpington.

Many people with smaller space to house chickens prefer bantams because they take up less room.

They have a pretty good egg ratio, but you need to remember that their eggs are about half the size of a regular egg. Except for size their eggs should be just the same as your other chickens eggs.

We have chosen to own bantams as well as regular sized chickens.

What we have noticed is:

° Whereas we have problems with our other chickens when it comes to attempting to fly over the fence our bantams have never tried it. They are quite content with staying in the yard.

° The bantams require less food and water than the other chickens. Their bodies aren't as big, therefore they need less.

° Our bantams were a little finicky to raise from chicks, but they are now very hardy. 

° Our bantams (this could just be due to their breed which is Silkie) are very broody, which means they have the tendency to lay eggs and sit on them until they've hatched. Even our rooster will go broody and has done so quite a few times.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

We just wanted to wish ya'll a Happy 4th!

Keep safe and have fun!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ways to Keep Your Chicken Coop Clean and Fresh

Hey Chicken Raising Chicks,

Today I would like to share with you how to keep your chicken coop smelling better.
I know that most chicken raising people have trouble keeping there chicken coop smelling good.

Backyard Chicken Coop
Photo courtesy of HGTV

So here is what ya'll need to do!

1. Clean up your coop and get all there feathers out.

2. If the chicken coop comes apart take the pieces and then get your water hose and spray them off. (It is best if you leave them to dry in the sun)

3. Get wood shavings or hay from your local feed store. These help keep it looking nice and smelling fresh.

4. Make sure that there are not holes or anything that will allow water into where they sleep.

5. After chicken coop dries put it back together and put wood shavings or hay into the coop.

6. Put fresh water and feed into the coop feeders. If water gets moldy it will begin to smell bad.

 Your chickens will love their clean and fresh smelling home and you will too. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roosters, yea or nay?

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today I would like to address a popular misconception about raising chickens.

You need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs.


You only need a rooster to fertilize the eggs, the hens will lay eggs on their own whether or not you own a rooster.

Roosters are good to own for many reasons. Visit this wonderful website to view some of those reasons: Hazel Tree Farm: Good Reasons to keep a Rooster

But the thing you need to remember is that owning a rooster is completely up to you.

There are many different breeds of roosters and each breed has a typical behavior. Some people say that their rooster is their favorite chicken in their flock, and others have had to say goodbye to their roosters because of his bad behavior.

We have a docile rooster named Willie (he is a Silkie Bantam) and he rarely even acts like a rooster. He doesn't crow often, and it isn't very loud. He sits on eggs for the girls quite often, and pretty much just minds his own business. (Not that there is any way possible he could boss most of our hens around, they seem to think they are the queens!)

But we also had another rooster who was the most awful chicken ever! He picked on the girls and pushed Willie around. He was even mean to the baby chicks. We had his butt hauled off for sure.

Sometimes roosters are a great addition to your flock. Sometimes they're a bit too rambunctious.

Either way, the choice is yours.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is the Right Chicken Breed For You?

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Considering ordering chickens, but can't decide what breed is right for you?

There are many different breeds of chickens. In fact there are hundreds! I remember reading somewhere that there are at least 746!

That is a lot of chickens. And just like what you would do with any other pet you'll want to make sure you get the one you want.

The first thing you need to do is decide why you are getting chickens. Are you getting chickens for:  pets, eggs,  meat,  or are you wanting show chickens? Or maybe you're wanting a combination of some of these. 

You need to also ask yourself these questions: 

1. Do I need a chicken that is hardy? One that can survive harsh winters, or sweltering summers?

2. How many eggs do I want? Do I need a chicken that lays year round, almost everyday?

3. Do I need a Bantam breed (A smaller chicken of the same breed) so they take up less space and eat less?

4. Am I looking for meat birds or laying birds? Or perhaps both?

5. Do I want friendly chickens? Do they need to be docile and good with children? Or will I rarely come into contact with my birds so their temperament doesn't matter?

Those are the main things you need to consider when trying to decide a breed or breeds.

To help you with choosing I am providing a link to My Pet Chicken's Which Chicken Breed Selector Tool

This tool will ask simple questions about what you are looking for, and then determine what breeds you may like and provide you with a list of those breeds.

Each breed of chicken has its own characteristics. In other words they all act different. Some breeds are docile and good layers. Some breeds are good layers but do not interact well with humans.

Our chickens are all fairly docile, they are okay being picked up most of the time, and they don't have a problem with our other animals.

An important thing to remember is that not all chickens will turn out exactly as promised. When people say a certain breed is docile that means that the majority of that breed is. But chickens are animals, and like all other animals they have unique personalities. You take a chance when you order a docile chicken, because that chicken might turn out to be the meanest thing you ever laid eyes on.

A friend of ours owned a Blue Laced Wyandotte rooster who was very mean and aggressive. He would try and chase her children away from the hens in her flock. But I just read a comment a couple of days ago from someone saying they are very happy with their Blue Laced Wyandottes and that their roosters are never aggressive and very docile.

The important thing is to watch your chickens yourself to determine behavior characteristics. Sometimes a rooster or even a hen needs to be separated from the rest of the flock due to issues with aggressive behavior. But, sometimes you won't have single problem. We have only had to give away three chickens since we began raising them in 2010.

I personally think that any chicken can become docile and used to humans if they are handled enough as chicks. If you just let them sit in their box the entire time they grow, of course they are going to be scared of you. Our chickens are used to be picked up, carried around, and petted.

As I said earlier, chickens are animals, and like all other animals they have unique personalities. Many people love chickens and never have a single problem. And if you do wind up with a naughty chicken, you can always give it away to someone who doesn't interact with their chickens and doesn't need it to be friendly.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope this post has helped you in some way. If you have any questions please send them to us: and we will try our absolute hardest to answer them for you.

Later on I want to write more posts on each chicken breed, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks again,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chickens Can't Fly! Or Can They?

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Today I am addressing a commonly made assumption. Chickens can't fly. 

Well, actually they kind of can.

Now don't get me wrong. They can't "fly" the same ways as birds can. They can't soar high into the air and stay there. More like, they can flap their wings and make it a few feet into the air before plummeting.

We once had a rooster that was able to get up a tree about thirty feet in the air. He would fly from branch to branch until he got as high as he wanted. Most of our hens can jump the fence with ease. I would say they can "fly" five to six feet in the air.

Some chickens such as Silkies and Cochins can't fly. A Silkie's wing is made differently from most chickens, so the most they can usually do is a jump. Cochin's are usually too heavy to fly, so they wind up just jumping as well.

According to Wikipedia "Domestic chickens are not capable of long distance flight, although lighter birds are generally capable of flying for short distances, such as over fences or into trees (where they would naturally roost). Chickens may occasionally fly briefly to explore their surroundings, but generally do so only to flee perceived danger."

Our chickens must just tend to be nosier, because they more often fly to explore than to run  away from danger.

So now you know, chickens can fly. Some chickens never will fly, others will fly all the time. Either way it's good to be prepared. I remember the first time Randi and I saw our Ameraucana's perched on the edge of their pen, we freaked out. We since then have learned to always make sure our chicken pen is secure.

Thanks for stopping by and come back and see us again for more chicken raising tips!

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Reasons to Own Chickens

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!
Today I would like to share with you  reasons you should own chickens.

1. They are probably the most productive pets you could own.

Chickens can regularly supply you with eggs. In fact the record for the most amount of eggs goes to an Australorp who, in the 1920's, layed 364 eggs in 365 days *.  And (If you live in a place where this is possible) you can sell your eggs!
*The standard number of eggs from an Australorp per year are 250
If you choose to own meat chickens, they'll also provide you with food as well.

And, another way chickens are productive is that they can help you recycle. Your chickens can eat pretty much all your food scraps. (Notice I said "pretty much all" so if your questioning a certain kind of food, look it up.) And once they've eaten the scraps they provide you with nitrogen-rich fertilizer, AKA chicken crap. And you can compost it with leaves.

And, finally, chickens are great at pest and weed control. They will munch on those bugs that are trying to eat your garden plants. And they will eat most weeds so give your arms a rest from weed pulling.
2. They truly can be great pets.
My favorite chicken is a Buff Silkie Bantam and she is the sweetest thing. She is gentle and docile. I can call her name and she'll come over to me. Usually she'll even let everyone pet her. We've had a little 2 year old girl come visit and she loves to pet Cleo (she calls her Clelo and Boodiful Gicken).
3. There is a huge variety of chicken breeds out there!

You can call up a hatchery (and maybe your local feed store if they take chick orders) and order whatever breed you want.
You can choose from "normal" chickens like:

   Rhode Island Red



Or you could go for a more "exotic" looking chicken such as:

           Silkie Bantam  

Sebright Bantam


 (All chicken photos, except for Cleo's, courtesy of My Pet Chicken)

 4. Most adult chickens are hardy.

Unless you have chosed a delicate breed, chickens can usually go for a few weeks just drinking water and scrounging around the yard for bugs and edible plants.

And, most chickens (again, unless you've chosen a delicate breed) can handle climate changes quite well. Our chickens have been through 120°F in the summer to -6°F in the winter. We just make sure they are in their coop with plenty of food and water.

5. You know exactly what's going on.

When you purchase chicken from the store you have no idea what that chicken went through. Most chickens live out their lives in a tiny little cage. Their only purpose is to lay eggs so that big name companies can sell them.

If that isn't enough reason to make the switch from buying store bought eggs to owning chickens, maybe this'll do it for you.

When you take care of your own chickens, you make the choice to eat healthier.

Your chickens are eating either natural chicken feed or they are eating plants and bugs. That turns the color of the egg yolk turns a bright orange, which means your chickens have a healthy diet. Most eggs you buy from the store have very pale yellow yolks.

In fact, Mother Earth News conducted a study in 2007 and came to this conclusion.

"Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

Wowza! What a difference.

It shouldn't really be that surprising that when you take care of your chickens, (let them run around, and eat natural food) then they'll produce better eggs.

So, now that I've given you 5 reasons to own chickens, hopefully you'll consider it. And, if you already own chickens and have another reason please comment and share it!

Thank ya'll for stopping by, and now........ I've got chicken eggs to hunt for.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Raising Chicks Grows More Popular

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!
Today I am featuring an article fom Mother Earth News called....
"As the popularity of chicken ownership continues to increase across the country, more families are taking control of what they put on the dinner table by raising poultry as a fun and educational family activity, or even as a small business opportunity in support of the local food movement. Whatever the reason, to make your experience of owning chickens the best it can be, it's a must to arm yourself with all you need to know to successfully own and raise healthy, productive chickens.
The first consideration to address, if applicable, is determining whether residential zoning ordinances allow chickens, backyard coops or chicken houses. Residents should check with their municipality's zoning board for relevant codes and to see if approval is needed before structures are erected. When applicable, check neighborhood homeowner associations as well.
Once conditions of ownership are understood, expert advice and information from the seasoned professionals at Tractor Supply Company can help potential chicken owners start successfully by setting expectations and removing doubt caused by myths and misperceptions.
“One of our main questions was how much noise a flock of chickens would make and how it could affect our family as well as our neighbors,” said Danielle Newman of Livermore, Calif., who has been raising chickens with her family for the past seven years. “We asked the store manager at our local Tractor Supply and were told that since we had no plans to own a rooster, the noise would not be an issue, and it certainly hasn’t been at all.”
In fact, hens are fairly quiet. And roosters are not necessary for hens to lay eggs for consumption. Hens will let out a brief squawk to show off a new egg or if they become distressed. Otherwise, the noise from a hen is almost nonexistent.
Another common myth about raising chickens centers on the smell created by a small flock. In reality, chickens create no more odor than any other household pet.
“We’ve found that smell isn’t an issue in the least,” said Jenn Butt of Ruckersville, Va., a chicken owner for nine months. “We clean the coop regularly, and we really like having the compost for fertilizer. Honestly, the compost was a surprise bonus we weren’t expecting. We saw fantastic results in our garden and flower beds.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

This is Cassandra and Miranda Hart on our new adventure in the land of blogging!

Cassandra says: "Hello and welcome!

Miranda and I have started a new blog together. This blog is about all things chickens.

You may recognize the name, as when Miranda first started out her blog name was "Chicken Raising Chick", but she later decided that she would rather run a craft blog. However, when we deleted Chicken Raising Chick, we found out that people were searching for it. So Miranda decided to start it back up, this time with me, her sister.

I also thought an all-chicken blog would be a great idea, as I have had people ask me questions and express their desire to possibly begin raising chickens.

So this blog is for all those gals. All those who want to be (or already are) Chicken Raising Chicks. On this blog you will find: chicken raising tips, tutorials, funny stories, ideas, features from other blogs, and pretty much anything else we think will help you on your chicken raising journey.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestians please feel free to email me at

Thanks for visiting us and please come back soon to hear more."

Miranda says: "Hi this is me, Miranda!

Thanks for coming to our blog. I hope ya'll gals will enjoy it.

I can't wait to share some of our chicken raising adventures with you. In the future I will feature articles from: Mother Earth News, Homestead Blessings, Grit Magazine, and other blogs that I will find along the way.

We hope to give ya'll easy, simple, ways to raise chickens.

Chickens are great pets and they're also moneysavers. They produce eggs which over time can be costly. Sometimes, chickens can be really stubborn and complicated, but in the end it is always worth the trouble."

We both thank ya'll so much for coming and can't wait to get some chicken raising tips on here right away!