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!