In this tutorial, I show you how to make a clean, efficient nipple waterer for your chicks using a push-in poultry nipple and a couple of easy-to-find items. If you’d rather not do this yourself, you can purchase one of our ready-to-use Brooder Bottles here.
Food and Nutrition
Allowing your chickens to graze on fresh grass is a good thing — not just for them, but for you as well. The nutrients in green vegetation enhances the quality of their eggs and meat. And since fresh greens can make up about 20-30% of a chicken’s diet, providing them for your chickens can save you on feed costs.
But keeping your chickens supplied with fresh greens can be a challenge. When chickens have plenty of room to roam, they will graze a little off the top, then move on. When forage space is limited, however, as in a small urban or suburban backyard, chickens will continue to graze and scratch in the same spot until the vegetation is torn down to the roots.
An easy solution? Grazing frames! (more…)
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and while I’m admittedly biased in this case — that’s a real-life Garden Coop chicken coop in the background of the cover shot! — garden designer Jessi Bloom’s new book Free-Range Chicken Gardens is as lush and inspiring as the chicken paradise featured on the front.
The premise of the book is simple: how do you best integrate chickens into a backyard vegetable or permaculture garden. Bloom does a wonderful job of showing you how, drawing not only from her own experience as a garden designer and chicken keeper, but also from the experiences of a diverse group of chicken gardeners she profiles throughout the book.
Topics covered include all the basics of keeping backyard chickens plus how to create a plan for a chicken-friendly garden and what plants to include/avoid in your chickens’ day yard. The illustrations are clear. Kate Baldwin’s photos are gorgeous.
Seriously, if I were a chicken, I’d want to live in this book — or at least in one of the gardens featured in this book — one of which is the handiwork of horticulturalist Alana Meyer. Alana’s sumptuous Washington State garden adorns the book’s cover along with the chicken coop she built using The Garden Coop plans and her own two hands.
Have you read Jessi’s book? Follow her blog? Leave a quick comment and let us know what you think, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve been inspired to do with your garden and chickens.
Sometimes you just want the basics, some notes that can help you get from dreaming to doing. I put together this one-page handout for a chicken keeping presentation I gave last year, and I wanted to share it here as well.
It covers many of the most common questions about chickens and coop design like:
- How much space do hens need?
- How much food do chickens eat?
- How loud are backyard hens?
- How often do you have to change your chickens’ water?
- How wide does the chickens’ door need to be?
But mainly it gives you a bunch of little tips and reminders to help you get started with backyard chickens and with designing and building your own chicken coop. It’s perfect as a checklist to make sure you’re not forgetting anything important.
So if you’re keeping chickens for the first time, getting ready to build your own chicken coop, giving a presentation on chickens, hosting a coop tour, or trying to educate your neighbors about chickens — download our free sheet of chicken tips (8.5 x 11″, PDF), print it out, refer to it, and share it with others!
Came across this nice article on how to eat well while avoiding food from factory farms. It’s comprehensive (okay, long), but worth at least skimming then filing for later reference. And, yes, raising your own backyard eggs is one of the author’s many suggestions!