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Chickens

From eggs to roast chicken and everything in between, we try to do as much for ourselves as we can.  We raise Rhode Island Reds (mostly) and a few other random hens.  We've chosen these breeds because Rhode Island Red chickens are traditionally are average layers and nice size table birds.  We have found though that many of the traditional characteristics of these birds have been bred out in favour of "show qualities".  This means we have some beautiful birds that don't lay as much as they should, but we are working on it with a bit of a breeding program and we love to see them wandering around the yard.




We keep all our chickens in "chicken tractors", which I've written about in an eBook.  More information can be found on my chicken tractor ebook site. 

What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.

Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor

Chris from Gully Grove



Also see these posts for more details:
And for a while we tried turkeys, but they are so crazy (too difficult to free range them) and HUGE, we take a week to eat one, we've decided to stick with our chickens instead, but it was fun to try them!

We also had guinea fowl for a while, but decided that we prefer the relatively sensible chickens!  Here's the keets (they are SO cute) Guinea fowl keets, and this is when we first tried them free-ranging Free range guinea fowl!. And then the final decision to sell them Guinea Fowl Realities.

You can find all my chicken posts are here....







Other references
Jackie French's Chook Book, it has everything from choosing breeds, raising chicks, curing illnesses, egg recipes and recipes for old roosters!  And another favourite is The Small-Scale Poultry Flock - An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers by Harvey Ussery is also excellent (my review here).


      





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What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

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Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

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