Easy to raise poultry (besides chickens)

I've been raising poultry since 2009 and through the years I have raised lots of different types of poultry. Some of these worked out really well and others not so much! When choosing other poultry to raise it's important to note how many eggs they will actually lay, because they're not all the same!

quail, duck, chicken and turkey eggs from a backyard flock

For instance most people think that a goose is a lot like a duck. I mean they're not wrong in certain aspects but if you're looking at egg laying, a goose only lays about 30 - 50 eggs each year whereas a duck can lay 300! That's a big difference, especially if you're raising them for eating eggs! 

Related reading: Comparing size and nutrition of different types of poultry eggs! Ducks, chickens, turkeys and more!

Now if you're raising them to hatch those eggs and sell the babies, then many goslings demand a higher price than ducklings so the goose might actually be a better choice.

Can you raise a chicken alone?

I've received several emails from readers lately asking if it's okay to raise a chicken by itself? Some of these chickens are being raised in the house as pets, but others are being raised outside in a coop by themselves. I have had a chicken inside my house form time to time and I have to say, it depends on the situation.

a chicken walking alone in the grass

By nature chickens are flock animals. They do best in a group. When somebody asks me what the ideal flock size is I always say to have a minimum of five chickens in a flock. This is with or without a rooster.

Also when choosing flock size you'll want to look at how many eggs you need, but that doesn't really matter because they'll lay more in the summer and less in the winter and you'll never really get exactly what you need! Lol

How to clean a chicken coop

Today I had to clean out one of the chicken coops and it took me a little longer than I expected. I probably only do a deep cleaning about once a year, though I will dust down the spider webs and scoop up under the roosts more often. This was a serious cleaning today!

a freshly cleaned chicken coop

I use the deep litter method in my chicken coops, so it's really only a once a year clean out. Today was that day starting with the bedding and ending with a Shop-Vac. Here's the entire process.

How to choose a poultry incubator

I have been hatching my own eggs for about 12 years now and during that time I have used several different types of incubators in all different price levels. When you begin hatching eggs, choosing your incubator is very important. Most people decide purely based on price but I believe you should chose the style you prefer and then find one in your price range.

Looking into an incubator to decide which to buy to hatch chicks

The cheapest incubator you can buy (that actually works well) is about $45 and it's a still air Styrofoam model that holds around 40 eggs. The most expensive incubator you can buy is a fully automatic cabinet model that costs around $2,500 and holds a little under 600 eggs! 

As you can see, there is a lot of room between these 2 styles and that's what we are going to discuss today. Lets talk about everything incubators: still air, forced air, hygrometers, thermometers, turners and hand turning.

Related reading: Learn about incubation & hatching, terms and definitions

How to catch a chicken

I've been raising chickens for over a dozen years now and I've noticed that some chickens are really easy to catch and others are quite difficult. I have lots of chickens that will jump right up on my lap. but let them get the idea that you want to catch them and they are running like there's no tomorrow! There may come a time when you need to catch a chicken whether to check for a health issue or something else and I have a pretty easy way to do that.

Person holding chicken she caught

There are a few different ways to catch a chicken. Lots of people just wait until nightfall and grab the chicken right off the roost. Unfortunately the last time I had to catch a chicken the timing was not right to use that method. So I had to come up with something else.

I will admit that is my preferred method for catching guinea fowl though! Open the coop door after dark and just walk in and pluck the one I want right off the roost! Chickens tend to be much easier thankfully!