Friday, August 18, 2017

How I saved $450 on chicken feed last year

A few years back I wrote a post about my farm expenses for the year. In those expenses I had spent a whopping $1140 for feed! That is a lot of money for chicken feed! Of course you can't have chickens without feeding them so it is a necessary expense.

I love to save money and I knew I could do better so I set out to save at least half of my feed bill. Unfortunately, I failed. I only managed to save about $450. However I did learn a lot in the last 2 years and by using these methods, I'm on track to save over half of my feed bill for this year! 

save money on chicken feed

I implemented 3 different changes for feeding my flock and they have helped me buy 24 less bags of feed per year. That is over a half a ton of feed! Granted, most people don't feed 80 chickens and guineas like I do, but my methods can help you save money no matter what size flock you have.

Friday, August 11, 2017

11 Reasons why your hens aren't laying

You have a full flock of hens but your egg basket is regularly empty. What gives? There are a lot of reasons why your hens might not be laying. From age to illness, almost anything can go wrong and cause a hen to stop laying. Luckily, many of these reasons are easily fixed!

hens aren't laying

Here's my list of 11 reasons why your hen is not laying, starting with the easiest and most common reasons. Make sure you read all the way to the end to see my bonus 3 reasons why you may just think your hens are not laying...and where the eggs may be instead.

1) Too young: Many chickens look full grown before they actually are. Depending on the breed, your chickens may not start laying till they're almost 8 months old! I've heard of Silkies that didn't lay till they were 9 months old. While most chickens will start laying between 4 & 6 months old it might just be a little too early for your chicken to lay. Hang in there a few months, she should start laying in time.

2) Old age: Egg production in most hens slows down after age two. As they age from there, the amount they lay can decrease each year. My oldest hen is 8 years old and lays about 5 eggs a week for about 2 months in summer. Some will lay more then this, and some will lay much less.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Selling fresh eggs

If you've had chickens for any length of time then you know their egg production has peaks and valleys. While some of those low times can make you feel like you'll never get another fresh egg again, the high production times can leave with with more eggs then you've ever seen before!

sell chicken eggs

When your chickens are laying like crazy, you might have considered selling eggs from your hens. While it may seem as simple as putting them in a carton and exchanging them for money, it's usually much more complex. It can depend on where you live and how many chickens you have. In some states you need to wash and refrigerate the eggs and in others washing and refrigeration is strictly forbidden! 

There are even more rules about packaging and handling. Plus, what about taxes? It's a mess quite frankly, but how do you figure it all out?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Train your chickens to come when called!

One of the first things I did when I got my first flock of chickens was to train them to come when I called them. I let my chickens free range and by training them, I know that I will be able to call them back to their coop whenever I want to. It's truly a useful skill for them to learn. 


train | chickens


Since then I've also trained chickens to walk on a harness and leash and trained roosters to be friendly but the 'trick' they use most often is coming when I call them. In fact, they do it daily! Luckily it only takes a few minutes a day and in a week or so, you can have your chickens trained to come when you call!

As we discussed last week, chickens are about as smart as a 4 year old child. They can remember things and recognize objects which are exactly the skills they need to train them to come when called! They also understand the reward system, so they can grasp the idea of doing a certain action to receive a treat.

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