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Handcrafted Coops Contest Terms and Conditions

  “Handcrafted Coops Best Advice” Contest OFFICIAL RULES   Sponsored by Handcrafted Coops (“Sponsor”).   NO ENTRY FEE.  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  The Contest begins at 12:00 AM Pacific Time (“PT”) 2/22/12 and ends at 11:59:59 PM PT 2/29/12 (the “Contest Period”).   1. Eligibility: The “Handcrafted Coops Best Advice” Contest (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, aged eighteen (18) or older as of the date of entry, who have an active e-mail account and Internet access. ... read more

so-you-want-a-colorful-egg-basket

So You Want a Colorful Egg Basket!   I’m very partial to a colorful egg basket. No blah all white or all brown eggs for me!  The more colors, the better.  Like many people, I grew up thinking white eggs were what you bought at the grocery store, and brown eggs were what you got from a farm.   I remember the first time I saw  blue eggs.  We had gone to our local farmers’ market, and there was a farm family selling eggs.  The eggs were beautiful – all browns and blues.  After that, and  until I got chickens of my own, I went to the farmers' market each weekend and... read more

Interesting Facts About Chicken Eggs

Have you ever wondered how a hen can lay an egg every day? Why some eggs are brown and some eggs are white? How many days an egg takes to hatch?   Here are the answers to those questions and many more.   Hens and eggs Female chickens are called pullets for their first year or until they begin to lay eggs. For most breeds, around 20 weeks is a typical age for the first egg. Some breeds lay eggs daily, some every other day, some once or twice a week. Some individual hens never lay eggs, due to narrow pelvises or other anomalies. Normal laying... read more

Keeping your chickens healthy

 Keeping your chickens healthy My healthy Silver Laced Wyandotte free ranging!     Here are some ways to keep your chickens healthy and happy.   1.Cleaning the coop Cleaning the coop is very important for keeping happy, healthy chickens. If you don't clean the coop you risk an infestation of lice, mites, and other parasites. Cleaning your coop isn't always easy but it sure is worth it. Start by getting all the bedding from the floor of the coop and the nesting boxes and dumping it. If any eggs have cracked then make sure to clean up that mess too. Then... read more

How-To-Keep-Your-Flock-Happy

How To Keep Your Flock Happy (Let them act like birds!) What?  Keep your chickens happy?  They are, after all, well... CHICKENS!  Yes, yes; however you can make their lives happier and healthier by acknowledging a really important concept.  That is, although they have been domesticated for about a gazillion years, and do OK inside small areas, they were once wild critters who roamed the jungles looking for food,  keeping their young safe, protecting their flock, etcetera.  Watching them over their life-cycles is fascinating and informative, and we come to realize that... read more

Raising your baby chicks

   Raising your chicks ~step by step~   Quick-Short Instructional Guide                               The first important aspect in a chickens like is when it hatches. Hatching, is a great obstacle a developing chick faces to come into the world. It is a very tiresome and exhausting process. The chicks first pips a hole in the large end of the egg, then continues cracking it as they turn themselves around inside the egg. This part of the hatch is called zipping, and once it’s done, the chick now needs to push... read more

Understanding the USDA Processing Exemptions

Raising chickens to sell for meat can be a daunting task, when it comes to understanding the laws and regulations.   The best step to take is to contact your state Agriculture Department. The employees are knowledgeable and will know if your state follows the USDA exemptions or if you must follow additional laws for your state. It's better to have an idea on what you want to do, and discuss with your state Ag contact than to make assumptions that could potentially cause you to lose your flock and money.   First, this here is the article from the USDA for... read more

Comparison of Breeds and Ages of Chickens for Meat

Many of us are used to the uniformity of whole chickens at the grocery store. When choosing to process chickens at home, the differences between the size and type of chickens vary greatly. Bantam chickens can be used for meat, but are obviously smaller. "Hatchery" birds that are "dual purpose" breeds often don't compare to the same breed that is raised and selected by a breeder for carcass characteristics. Older birds often are bigger, but still will look much different than the same weight of a store chicken. Below are some of the chickens I've personally... read more

Using Older Chickens for Meat Purposes

Most Americans are used to eating chicken from the store. Most of this chickens are about 8 weeks old or younger, and just like any other meat source, the younger the animal, the more tender the meat. You can fry, bake, grill, broil, stew, or crockpot store bought chicken, and pretty much be guaranteed you will still have tender meat.   Each year, millions of non-meat chickens are raised. While many chickens either die from predators or natural causes, there are those who look with a hungry eye upon a older, non-laying layer hen, or a rooster that is a year or two... read more

The Emotional Side of Chicken Processing

As documentaries and news articles come out with the latest information about inhumane treatment of meat animals, or the newest outbreak of food poisoning, more and more chicken owners are looking to raising their own chickens for meat use. Many of these chicken owners aren't hunters, and possibly have never voluntarily taken a life of an animal for it's meat. Meat has always been pre-packaged in the perfect portion, with no face or anything other than perhaps a nice cartoon of a happy cow or chicken or farm on the label. As a society we are distanced from our meat,... read more

BackYard Chickens › Learning Center Articles