Monday, March 14, 2011

Your questions answered - 3/14

I've really been surprised at the number of questions I get regarding raising chickens - here is your chance to ask any that you might have and every Monday I will answer all of them. These are answers based on my personal opinion and experiences - here are this weeks questions/answers!!

  • What breed of chickens did you buy? and why? = my flock consists of:
    • 4 Rhode Island Reds
    • 3 Barred Plymouth Rocks
    • 3 White Plymouth Rocks
        • We ordered these chickens because they are all known to be excellent eggs layers. They are also especially cold weather hardy and being that we live in Upstate NY, it can get quite cold. I decided to go with 3 different breeds and 3 different colors because I wanted a variety.
  • Do you still have it in your heart to eat chicken? = yes we still eat chicken. It took a little convincing with the kids for the first few weeks after we got the chicks. They were certain dinner had come from the backyard. We are already preparing ourselves for when the day comes when the chickens in the backyard become dinner. They only lay eggs for so long and such is the circle of life. (but ask be again in a few years when that time comes) 
  • When did you start deworming? = We have not dewormed our chickens. Nor will we unless there is a problem. We try to raise our chickens as natural as possible - which includes trying to eliminate all un-natural "substances". That being said I did some investigating and read up on this topic in my book "Raising chickens for dummies" and here is what it says about deworming = "Worms are common internal parasites. Many species of worms can live in chickens and not cause any problems. If you aren't in the habit of checking out chicken droppings, you may never know your birds have worms. Generally, treatment for worms consists of worming the entire flock. Some people prefer to worm chickens at least twice a year as a precaution, even if they don't see worms or symptoms. It doesn't hurt to worm as a preventive measure if you follow the directions for the worm medicine. However, we don't believe that home flocks need to be wormed as a precaution if they appear healthy and you don't see worms in the droppings. If you notice worms or your chickens don't seem to be as healthy as they could be, it may be time to check for worms and treat if necessary.