Posts tagged with ‘Chicken Feed’

 

How to build grazing frames for your backyard chickens

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Free plans for backyard chicken frames to grow greens that will last for months.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…)

New Book: Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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.

Winter Chicken Coop Care, Pt. 2: How chickens keep themselves warm — and how you can help them.

Monday, November 15th, 2010

This is the second in a four-part series on preparing your backyard chickens and coop for cold weather.

Most standard laying hens are quite cold hardy (check this handy breed chart). Just look at their names: Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red. . . . These girls were bred to withstand cold climates well before the advent of electric heat. So how do they manage to withstand temperatures that send us scampering for the nearest cup of cocoa? (more…)

Growing greens in the chicken yard

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

While we feed our chickens a high-quality organic feed, we also like to make sure that they get plenty of greens and grass. They love grazing, and fresh greens improve the amount of vitimins in the eggs as well as the fatty acid profile of the yolks. Yet it took just a few days for our flock of 8 to completely denude their daytime grazing yard, a 200-or-so-square-foot fenced area next to The Garden Coop. (more…)