Organically raised chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newfarmer10, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. newfarmer10

    newfarmer10 New Egg

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    Jun 30, 2010
    I have wanted to have chickens for years but my husband has been hard to convince. I finally convince him to buy a few acres in the country so now I am ready to start to raising my own chickens. I want to do it as organic as possible. I especially like brown eggs but I am not sure what breed chicken I would need to get brown eggs. The eggs would be just for me and my family, about 6-8 people, I am not sure how many chickens I would need to provide all that we need. Should I start with chicks or full grown chickens? Are there suggestions on where I can find healthy, organically raised chickens? We have fruits and vegetable gardens as well and I have been told that the chicken poop can be used as a fertilizer, is this true or were they just kidding the new girl? After reading the other postings I feel like I have tapped into a wealth of knowledge and I really appreciate any help you can give me.[​IMG]
     
  2. KandJsmama

    KandJsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Breeds with red ear lobes will lay brown eggs, such as Rhode Island Reds. We have Black Stars aka Black Sex Links that are amazing brown egg layers. For our family of four, we have six chickens which supplies our eggs and usually an extra dozen each week that we give away. There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs, the color is determined by the breed of chicken. We have some that lay blue and green eggs also. I liked starting with chicks because we got to watch them grow up and bond with them. We have also been able to control what they eat for the whole lives so there is no question to the quality of our eggs. Organic feed is more expensive (big surprise) than regular feed and not always easy to find. Our feed store has been gracious enough to carry the Organic Pride brand for us without charging us a special order fee. It arrives with the Purina shipment so if your store carries Purina products, they might be able to do it for you. The chicken poop is an excellent fertilizer but you will want to compost it first so it doesn't burn your plants. We have had our girls for a year now and I don't think I can be without chickens again! If you click on the link on my signature, you can follow our journey with the chickens as well as a more "natural" lifestyle.
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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  3. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Welcome!
    I'm raising my first chickens too and don't have any eggs yet, but I think the previous poster has given some good advice.
    I've got 13 hens, which we got as day old chicks. It's a lot more work when they're little, but also a lot of fun too (especially if you have kids) and you can be sure they're started as organically as possible. If you do that I would recommend starting with a medicated starter feed to control coccidiosis and then gradually adding in non-medicated organic feed. That worked really well for my girls, I only lost one early on (when they were on 100% medicated feed) and they are thriving.

    You may consider getting a few more hens than you think you want, it's normal to lose a few if you get them as chicks and it can be a hassle to add to your flock later from what I've read. We have friends lining up to buy eggs when our hens start laying, so I imagine you'll have an easy time getting rid of any surplus eggs. [​IMG] I got a variety pack of brown egg layers, along with a few EEs because I love their green eggs. I would recommend trying several different breeds so you can find your own favorites - some are better in hot/cold climates than others, so you might look in to that so you can have eggs all year round!

    If possible, you might look for an organic feed that uses animal protein as its main source, as I've heard that a lot of soy protein may increase the risk of internal laying problems and isn't the healthiest thing for chickens OR humans - the one I get uses fish meal and dehydrated eggs as the protein sources and my chickens love it, they pick all the good bits out and avoid the Start & Grow crumbles I've been mixing in! Good thing they just finished the last of their bag, so they are on straight organic feed now at 12.5 weeks.

    If you happen to be in Colorado, I buy my organic feed in bulk from a woman in Lyons. My local feed store put me in touch with her, but she puts ads up on Craigslist pretty frequently too.
     

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