Saturday, May 14, 2011

Question about raising chickens

Re: Question about raising chickens
Posted by: "Heather Capps" heather.capps@yahoo.com heather.capps
Fri May 13, 2011 11:49 am (PDT)

Wow...this turned out to be really long...
In the beginning it was expensive because they were not laying yet. 12 chickens
should give you 8 to 10 eggs per day (once in a while...you' ll get 12 in one
day). Some lay almost every day and others every other day. Some will lay 3 to 4

days in a row and then skip a day. They have a 25 hour cycle. That would give
you roughly 23 dozen per month to sell (depending on how many you consume). We
sell our eggs for $5 per dozen. In our area, that is average. I noticed fresh
eggs in the store from a local place and they were selling for $7. Not organic
and not soy-free. It cost more for soy-free feed. Soy is a very cheap protein.
We make approx. $120 per month on the eggs. It pays for the chicken feed and
some of the llama feed. We have 16 grown hens. They are organic, pastured and
soy-free.
I buy all of their feed from the following:
azurestandard. com
They are based in Oregon. We have a local place that sells organic feed, but not

soy-free. Also, they are getting some of their 'organic soy beans' from China.
No thank you...
You need to sign in to see the prices. They deliver once per month, no tax and
no shipping. I buy food, etc. in bulk for us too. They have a lot of organic for

costco/trader joe prices.
Organic soy/corn free feed $28.35 - 50 lbs.
I buy 2 bags per month. They go through approx. 1.5 bags per month.
I also mix cayenne in their feed to keep the squirrels out. Birds cannot taste
hot and it's good for their circulation. I've heard that it also increases the
quantity of eggs.
Organic dried whole corn $11.40 - 25 lbs.
Organic chicken wheat $14.20 - 50 lbs.
I mix the corn and wheat together and throw that out as a treat later in the
day. I want them to get the layer feed first. I buy the corn and wheat about
every 3 to 4 months.
Organic raw apple cider vinegar $8.80 - 1 gallon
I put 2 tablespoons per gallon of water along with some crushed garlic.
Raw sunflower seeds $39.25 - 25 lbs.
I don't give them too much. We use it for nut butter and I give some to the
chickens for extra protein. I buy one bag every 3 to 4 months.
Crushed oyster shell for added calcium. I don't remember how much it was...but
it was very cheap. You want to start giving the extra calcium when they start
laying eggs. Giving calcium to chicks could cause kidney problems later.
I also make kefir for them and us with raw goat milk and mix it with kitchen
scraps along with some herbs and spices and garlic. I buy goat milk for $8 per
gallon. They end up with about 1 gallon per month....maybe 1.5 gallons.
Worming every fall when pumpkins are available: Pumpkin, dandelion greens,
carrots, onion, garlic.
http://www.moonligh tmileherbs. com/reg0507falla lterative. pdf
They get a lot of extras from our garden. They love plantain leaf and we have
tons. Dandelion greens, weeds from the garden (I attach to the fence by the
roots with a clothespin).
We make more on the eggs than what we spend on feed. Mike sells the eggs at work

and there's a demand for them.
Time spent on them. I clean the coops 2 times per year (spring and fall).
Pressure wash, scrub, sanitize with vinegar and peroxide (do not mix
together...spray one and then the other one). In-between the cleaning, we do the

deep litter method. We add more rice straw to the coop floors. In the AM, let
them out, feed them, refresh the water. Collect eggs later in the day and spoil
them with treats. At night, they will put themselves away and I go out and lock
them up after counting them to make sure everyone is there. Dust bath - 1/2 wine

barrel with dirt, sand and wood ash. I sprinkle herbs on top periodically to
keep mites/lice off of them. I sprinkle herbs in the nest boxes along with
crushed lay leaf, lavender flowers and wood ash. We have bay trees and lavender
on the property. I spoil them...so I spend more time with them than necessary.
The herbal and homeopathic stuff I have on hand for them and us: Pricey at
first, but can be used for all of our animals and us if needed. We have other
stuff on hand for us too.
Tinctures, slaves, etc.
Echinacea
Plague formula for respiratory infections (apple cider vinegar, horseradish,
onion, garlic, hot pepper, ginger)...Doc has this recipe in the files.
Rescue Remedy (for stress or introducing new chickens to the flock...can put
some in the water and spray around them)
MMS (have not used this yet, but read that it can cure mereks disease which is a

type of herpes in chickens)
Colloidal Silver (anti-bacterial. ..can put in water or spray on wounds and can
spray in the eyes for infection)
Salve for wounds (Ingr. colloidal Silver, comfrey, calendula, yellow dock,
plantain, E, olive oil, cocoa butter, bee's wax, rescue remedy, lavender and
rose oil)
Skin & Would Spray (Ingr. deionized water, grapefruit seed extract, alcohol,
essential oils of tea tree and lemon)
Body Balance + (apple cider vinegar, molasses, black walnut hull tincture...Doc
has the recipe in the files). I made it for us, but we had a chicken with
impacted crop due to eating the orchard grass that the llamas dropped on the
ground. The strands were long and they got caught in her crop. She also had sour

crop from it. I massaged in a downward motion a few times per day until it
passed. I read that walnut hull tincture is good for candida. Added Body Balance

+ to the water and she improved.
Homeopathic:
Arnica - shock and bruising
Ledum - pain
Hypericum - puncture wounds
You'll never make your money back for the cost of the coop, feeders, fencing,
etc. We also added the llamas for guarding and housing for them. We have bobcats

and coyotes here. But once you're set-up, then you can have animals for a long
time:)
They will molt (lose their feathers) in the winter and not lay eggs while
molting. If you get chicks and they start laying before fall, they will lay
throughout the winter and molt the next year. If you have room for more
chickens, order some every year so you have some layers in the winter while the
other ones are molting. Our adults will molt this winter and our new chickens
will lay. We will be spending $ on feed and 1/2 of the chickens will not produce

for 3 to 4 months.
-Heather (Forestville, CA)

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