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(L) Pastured Poultry

Many farmers begin with raising meat chickens. Learn how here.

Members: 384
Latest Activity: Dec 11, 2013

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Processing Turkeys

Started by Jeff Hamons. Last reply by J Green Nov 16, 2013. 7 Replies

Wondered if anyone with experience with processign pasture raised heritage turkeys would have advice to give.  How did you catch the birds for processing?  Was there any significant difference between processing them and processing chcikens other…Continue

Got some Muscovies!

Started by Ellen Samek. Last reply by Ellen Peavey Aug 30, 2012. 10 Replies

Well, finally found some ducks in the area, and have them home.  Now just to wait until they get older to see how many of each gender I actually got :)They are enjoying the bugs and the grains from the plants in our yard.Continue

Medicated on non-medicated chick feed?

Started by Megan Hutchison. Last reply by Shane Jul 2, 2012. 5 Replies

Hi all, we're getting our first chicks today and I'm debating whether to get the medicated chick feed or non-medicated feed, any opinions on this? Continue

How to raise pastured poultry while working a 9 to 5 job

Started by braunyboy. Last reply by The Little Family Homestead Jun 29, 2012. 13 Replies

Hey All!  This is my first post to Farm Dreams.  My wife and I have finally taken the plunge and are buying a house right across the county lines in middle, TN.  We will have 5 to 8 pastured acres at our disposal for raising animals.  I'd like to…Continue

turkeys with bloody beaks

Started by Bradley Cramer. Last reply by Bradley Cramer Jun 24, 2012. 2 Replies

Hi all,I'm having turkey problems (again) and I really hope someone can shed some light on it because I have never experienced this before. Over the last few days I noticed that the beaks on my turkeys are bleeding right at the point where they…Continue

Free Ranging Cornish Cross meat chickens

Started by J Green. Last reply by Richard Biggins May 24, 2012. 6 Replies

This is the second group of CX that I've raised on free range and have found them to be fantastic foragers.  They are getting about 50% of their total nutrition from foraged bugs, worms, etc. here and are fed once or twice a day on fermented layer…Continue

Forage vs. Outside source of feed

Started by Not Available. Last reply by Marie James May 24, 2012. 7 Replies

I'm just curious as I'm getting ready to embark on the world of heritage chickens...  Is it possible for foraging chickens to survive and thrive on JUST forage?  If heritage breeds are such "great foragers", is it still necessary to feed them with…Continue

Mistake leads to Very sick Birds -- Choices

Started by Jeff Hamons. Last reply by Rich Hamilton May 24, 2012. 3 Replies

Ok -- made a big mistake. Have flock of about 60 layers that we keep on pasture in mobile hen house rotating pasture every few days. They are aracaunas and RIR. They had jsut started laying about one month ago. Our demand for eggs was high so I…Continue

What killed my rooster?

Started by Karen. Last reply by J Green May 17, 2012. 4 Replies

We have 20 19 chickens (17 hens, 3 2 roosters) that we free range during the day. We left our house today around 1pm and returned by 5pm to find our #2 rooster by the door.The neck was very floppy (broken?) but no damage on the head/neck, and the…Continue

Dung Beetles

Started by Cary McDaniel. Last reply by Cary McDaniel May 14, 2012. 2 Replies

I'm in Central Alabama and run cows on our 28 acres. Over the years I've encouraged dung beetles and am glad to finally have built up a good number to help bury manure. My question is whether or not any of you in the group considered the dung beetle…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by Ellen Peavey on December 9, 2011 at 1:19pm

  I have three hens who have stopped laying, two are a year old and the white one is a banty  who is two years old. Any suggestions on how to start them laying eggs again. I live in north east Georgia close to Athens Georgia, has been cold here down in the low 30's. Thank you  Ellen

Comment by Dawn on December 9, 2011 at 1:43pm

In late fall and winter, it's very usual for hens to stop laying, or to only lay sporadically.  Their egg production is affected by two things - light and stress.  With shorter daylight hours, they just don't manufacture as many eggs - which is why many people keep the lights on in their chicken house for a couple of hours after dark, or before sunrise, to stimulate egg production (I don't do this).  Also, as the weather gets colder, it causes stress for the hens metabolism, and their bodies go into survival mode - keeping warm - and the egg production "mechanism" stops.  Some people add some higher energy food to the chickens diet - cracked corn or hot mash for example, which may help.  When egg production starts again in the early spring, don't be surprised if your hens don't lay as much as before; at 2 years old, they are past their peak production years - they may well lay enough to satisfy your needs for years to come, but it won't be the 250 or so eggs/year that you got for the first year or so.  Their was a very good post about this subject on the blog http://matronofhusbandry.wordpress.com/ .  Check it out, and the comments that follow.

Comment by Marilyn Lakaner on December 9, 2011 at 2:39pm

Are they losing their feathers?  If so, they are molting.  It takes 9 weeks to grow a feather, from start to finish.  So, if molting is the issue, be patient.....and in about 9 weeks, you'll have eggs again.  And, contrary to what many might say (I've tried it all), nothing will speed up the molting. 

Good luck, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Comment by Ellen Peavey on December 9, 2011 at 4:27pm

Yes they already lost their feathers, it hasn't been nine weeks so I will be patient  and wait for the eggs to start. Thank you for the information and Merry Christmas

Comment by Mrs. Knucker Hatch on December 9, 2011 at 10:25pm

Hi  Ellen, I live in your neck of the woods, and all of my ladies have been hard pressed to produce in the last month or two - some recently went through a molt, others are older (even 3 years old!), and others I swear stop from peer pressure - makes the rest of the non-producing hens look bad.  :) I will say, I have caught one guilty egg eater in our coop, so make sure you aren't dealing with that type of situation - but more than likely it is cooler temps.  Give those girls all of your scraps from the house (minus potato peelings), and they'll work harder to thank you for it in the winter months.

Comment by Ellen Peavey on December 10, 2011 at 10:17am

Thank you for the suggestion Mrs Hatch, haven't found any of the three hens eating the eggs. More then likely it is the cold weather and they are still molting.   I live in Colbert Georgia. Where do you live? How many chickens do you have? I had one baby chick hatch this summer, had a chicken go broody. So now I have one big Red Rooster and the little peeper who isn't little any more and I think he is a rooster. So come this spring going to get rid of the little peeper and get six more hens and keep Big Red.  Thanks again for your idea's  Ellen

Comment by Mrs. Knucker Hatch on December 11, 2011 at 3:37pm

Sara, thank you for that tip about mothballs. We've got a real rat problem this year, king snakes are a usual problem every summer. Can't wait to try it!   Ellen - We're in a NE Atlanta suburb.  I've got about 12 hens and 5 roosters, which is NOT what you should do!   Normally, we keep it to 2 roosters, but we've added a Silkie rooster this year and he keeps to his Silkie girls, while the two new roosters from our latest hatch seem to be getting along (know their place) with the head honcho, so they've been allowed to stay. Hoping to add a more girls in the spring.

Comment by Ellen Peavey on December 12, 2011 at 4:37pm

Mrs Hatch I couldn't see the photo you sent. Moth balls do work they keep out  snakes it worked for me  had too many snakes in June used moth balls and it worked had to keep all windows open the stink would keep the devil away. I live in Colbert, Georgia very rural I have three hens one big red Rhode Island  Rooster and a little peeper who turned out to be a big rooster he was hatch by a broody  white bantie hen. I plan to get six more hens this spring and get rid of the big red and the other two hens and keep the little peeper who I guess I will have to change his name.

Comment by Brenda Lamb on December 13, 2011 at 1:41pm

My hens will be 4 in January and each year they molt for 3 solid months--Oct-Dec. Only get 1 -2 eggs a WEEK during the busiest cooking months of the year! Thank goodness my MIL hens molt later than mine and I can bum a few eggs from her.

Comment by Rich Hamilton on December 13, 2011 at 1:46pm

4 years! Sounds like its time to get some younger hens into the mix!

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