What does Freezer Camp mean?

I was discussing chickens with a friend other day and I made a comment about a few extra roosters that need to go to freezer camp. Well, even though this person has been around chickens quite a while, she was baffled by what I had said and she asked me...

Chicken going to freezer camp

What is freezer camp?

That's a legitimate question. I mean, I hadn't heard of it for most of my life! I think we sometimes use certain phrases to either be funny or to soften the blow of what they really mean. In this case freezer camp sounds a whole lot better than what I had to tell her I was going to do with these chickens.

Dried grass as coop bedding

I often experiment with various types of bedding in my chicken coops. I prefer wood shavings simply because they're convenient to buy and easy to store before use, but I have been known to use leaves, hay, straw and even shredded newspaper in my coops. Three years ago I decided to find uses for grass clippings and chicken coop bedding was one of the options I discovered. 

Dried grass on floor of chicken coop

Unfortunately you can't just cut the grass and dump it in the coop. It'll get moldy. You can dump fresh cut grass in the run for the chickens to dig through and they will love it! It needs to be outside where it's exposed to good air flow to help it dry out though. 

There's not enough air flow inside a chicken coop, so to use it as bedding it needs dried out first. It's not like it's a difficult process, it just takes time and a dry, hot day.

Grapes, chocolate and chickens

Earlier this week I was discussing chickens with a friend of mine and foods that chickens can't eat came up. Chocolate was mentioned and she said 'Oh just like dogs?' and then I said "Yes but unlike dogs, chickens can have grapes". Which led to quite the in-depth conversation about: Why?

Chicken eating grapes

It seems rather weird that some things that we know are poisonous to dogs and cats, like grapes and raisins, are not poisonous to chickens. Other things that are poisonous to dogs, like chocolate, are poisonous to chickens.

So I thought I'd break it down for you exactly how that works and why?

7 things you didn't know about raising guinea fowl

Way back when I first started raising guinea fowl there wasn't too much information available about them, except for exactly 1 book. I had to learn as I went. As I learned more about guinea hens, there were a lot of things that surprised me along the way. People always say that guineas are great watchdogs, their eggs are delicious and they eat ticks like crazy. 

That is all true.

There are a few other things that people don't talk about though, which is weird because they're not all bad! It's just surprising because you assume that other than the noise, guineas would be the same as chickens. They're not!

Chicken breeds for beginners

Normally I write a lot of "how I do things" sort of posts but this one is going to be different. This is about how I wish I had done things when I first started raising chickens. Or more specifically, which breeds I wish I would have started with for my first flock. Some chicken breeds are just friendlier, lay more eggs, or are easier to handle. 

Cochins for first chickens

Unfortunately I did not take that into consideration with most of my flock choices! So while I picked my first flock by looks and availability, here's how I wish I would have picked my flock. 

One of the most important things for beginning chicken keepers is friendly chickens. As you're raising your first flock you will be handling them a lot. This can be intimidating if it's your first time doing all this stuff and your chickens are skittish and flighty! It's much easier to hold a calm chicken.

Another important thing (obviously) is egg production. Some hens lay a lot more eggs than other breeds do. When deciding how many hens to get for egg laying you also need to consider how many eggs each hen will lay. Some breeds lay almost every day, others go broody so often they hardly lay at all. Some hens quit laying the second the weather turns cold and others will lay regularly all winter long.

Related reading: Chicken breeds to raise for pretty egg colors