Y’all already know we split the garden area this year. About 40% of that area became the chicken ranging area and the other 60% remained my veggie garden, but more efficiently arranged. I love the symbiotic relationship of chickens/garden. I’m hoping the chickens will keep grass scratched away from the adjoining garden area to help me win the fight against Bermuda grass. And I know they will also eat all the bugs & grasshoppers coming toward my garden from their area. I can toss over grubs or produce that didn’t make it, and the hens provide me with fresh eggs. Win/Win!
I recently shared with you a low-waste chicken feeder RancherMan whipped up for me. While I love how much it reduces the chicken’s slinging it to the ground and wasting it, the wild birds were also loving the free open buffet. We’re feeding organic laying pellets, I certainly didn’t want to be feeding that to the birds! But oh we’ve discovered a secret – check out today’s Homestead Hack.
One day I saw that our free-range hens had been in the planted beds scratching the mulch and in the process scratching & eating my plants. Gggrrrrr… Let’s see, what can I do to protect these seedlings as they grow?
Say it with me kids – use what you’ve got! Check out the Homestead Hack I used to successfully protect my seedlings from our free-range hens.
It’s loads of fun raising hens so we decided to give chicken-raising another go. We purchased four young hens early this spring. Soon they were into the free-range routine and providing plenty of eggs for us.
Because we live in the country there are all manor of predator dangers present for our free-range chickens. Predators such as coyotes, bobcats, feral cats, foxes, skunks & more. But with a secured coop and by locking them safely inside each night we were spared any deaths.
Then one night when we went to lock them up we noticed the black hen was nowhere to be found. Although we hated it, we understood that there are predators out here and that it was just one of those things. We never found her.
Then a week later we noticed the white one was missing. But this time we knew exactly what happened to her.
Last year we tried our hand at raising chickens for the very first time. We bought day-old chicks and raised all that fuzzy cuteness into adult chickens/roosters. We ended up with four hens and two beautiful roosters but someone STOLE both of our roosters! Can you even believe that??!
Aaaanyway not wanting to overwinter the hens due to predator issues we sold them last fall. But only after I had preserved many of the excess eggs by freezing them.
I used those frozen eggs all winter and about the time my freezer started running low on my supply we decided it was time to raise chickens again this year!
by Texas Homesteader *this post contains affiliate link
Last year we dipped our toe into the raising-chickens waters. We bought day-old chicks and raised them until fall when we sold them (we didn’t want to attempt to overwinter last year) Oh how much fun they were to raise! We free-ranged them and they made quite a dent in the grasshopper population and an incredible impact on the fly reduction on our cows in the barn pens.
Oh yeah, and they gave us FRESH EGGS! We knew that as spring drew closer we’d consider again if we wanted to raise chickens. The verdict is in: Um, YES PLEASE!