Every year we raise a years supply of meat chickens to feed our family of 6. These meat chickens are grown in our backyard. You can do this too! You can stop buying chicken from the supermarket, and provide your family with some great quality chicken for your table. If you are going to raise a year’s worth of chicken, you need to, Decide what kind of chickens you will raise. Get the Equipment and Setup for your Chickens. Decide if you will butcher them yourself, or if you want to have a butcher do the work for you.
In this video, we discuss raising enough chickens to provide a family of 4-6 enough chicken for the entire year. We talk about Cornish cross (Cornish x) chickens, red rangers, rainbow Rangers, and dual purpose birds. We also discuss using moveable poultry netting, chicken tractors, and feeders and waterers. Finally, we talk about butchering your chickens.
The next video Becky shows you everything so you’ll know how to raise chickens for eggs. She starts by talking about how important it is to remove all stress from your chickens. Then she tells you what she feeds her chickens so they lay eggs all year long. Finally Becky shows you the nesting boxes and talks about her chicken coop designs.
Tips to make a coop. It should have a prime spot beneath an old shade tree. In summer, the leafy canopy helps keep the flock cool, and in winter, sunlight streams through the bare branches, offering warmth
Egg production tapers off when hens don’t catch enough rays, which explains why many flocks stop producing completely in winter. A little mood lighting inside their coop, however, can help compensate for the shorter days. Just be sure to select bulbs that cast a warm glow
Chickens will get sick if the air inside their coop doesn’t circulate. The screened-in gap between the walls and slanted roof of a coop lets hot air escape without causing a draft in the sleeping quarters below.
No coop is complete without nesting boxes and roosting perches. Inside the coop, I use sturdy wicker baskets padded with straw serve as cozy places for hens to lay their eggs, with a wood closet rod acts as a perch for sleeping.
Nest boxes aren’t essential for hens to lay eggs, they can (and do) lay where they feel secure.
The nesting box is essential for you, the flock keeper, unless you enjoy searching the yard, outbuildings and under every bush or overhang for eggs!
A standard nest box for regular chickens such as Leghorns, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks and hybrid layers needs to be a 12 inch cube; 12 inches tall, wide and deep. This will fit the average hen quite nicely.
Larger birds such as Jersey Giants will need 12 inches deep, 14 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Bantam henscan get away with a slightly smaller box of 10 inches deep, 12 inches wide and 10 inches high.
These measurements make the box snug and there are reasons for that. If the hens have too much room they tend to kick out the bedding material. It also discourages hens from bunking up together to lay eggs.
There are lots of different nesting materials you can use. Below we are going to run through the most popular materials used.
- Pine shavings: easy to find, most farm stores sell them in convenient bales.
- Straw: another favorite of chicken keepers. You can usually buy these from your local farmer or farm store.
- Pine needles: free for the taking if you have a local source! The softer pine needles are the best.
- Sawdust: can be obtained for free or very cheaply from a sawmill or perhaps a neighbor.
- Leaves: raking and gathering all the fallen leaves in the autumn will not only give your ladies free bedding, but give you a workout too.
- Nesting pads: can be bought from most hatcheries and online sources. They are washable and inexpensive.
Any and all of these can be used for nesting materials, either separately or together. When supplies are good I will fill a couple of boxes with pine needles, a couple with leaves and a couple with straw.
As always – they will all want the same box!
To encourage the hens to relax while laying and also to deter pests, add some fresh herbs to the boxes. Lavender aids relaxation while lemon balm gives a fresh lemony smell and deters pests too.
Automatic Chicken Feeder (easiest way to feed your chickens with a 5
1~ Three Inch PVC 90 Degree Elbow.
2~ 5~gallon bucket with lid
2~ 3/16 aluminum rivets that are for 1/8” long material
1~ A few feet of shipping tape or duct tape or masking tape
HOW TO BUTCHER & PROCESS A CHICKEN (the right way)
Note This Video Shows The Whole Process and May Not Be Good for young kids.
This video is about How to Butcher a Chicken (the right way). There are a few things you need to know so you can speed up the process and avoid contaminating your meat!