our backyard flock

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Meet our two favorite chickens.  Our rooster is a bantam silkie, pretty funny looking, but very friendly and so soft.  Nellie, our white cochin, is a great layer, she reliably gives us an egg every afternoon.  Can you tell we like our chickens fluffy?

Chickens are such a fun addition to our backyard.  They are great pets, fertilize my plants, and leave us little gifts that we eat for breakfast.  In a small outdoor space bantams are the way to go.  They are 1/6th the size of standard chickens, meaning they are extra cute, and they do less damage to the garden.  Our chickens roam free in the yard.  This way they eat lots of greens and bugs which makes their yolks a deep orange-yellow, because they are full of beta carotene.  It is hard to keep them out of the vegetable beds and a wiser person would fence the garden to keep it safe.  Of course I haven’t gotten around to fencing mine, so I have to shoo them out occasionally.

I learned all about raising chickens at The City Chicken (great pictures for coop ideas) and Backyard Chickens (check out the forum for loads of information.)

I don’t like to feed my chickens the processed chicken feed you buy at stores.  What are in those pellets?  Whatever it is can’t be fresh.  I learned to make chicken feed at TheModernHomestead, a great site full of information on sustainable living.  I have tried various recipes for my chickens, but what I plan on doing for my next batch is buying a bag of a multi-grain scratch, if I can find some that is organic, and mix in amendments like fish meal (chickens are not vegetarians and actually need lots of protein), nutri-balance (a multi vitamin for chickens), and oyster shell for calcium.  It can be challenging to make an affordable feed for a small flock, in the future I hope to grow their grain.

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I love our shabby little coop.  I designed it and Pablo built it for me from scraps in our basement.

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Oliver was dying to get in these pictures.  He loves to hunt the chickens, so unless he has food, they run the other direction.

 

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~ by beautifulgreenlife on May 20, 2009.

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