Our June/July 2018 issue is NOW AVAILABLE! Learn all patriotic poultry breeds. Plus, Help your chickens maintain a healthy digestive system; DIY Coop watering; Keep your chickens happy while you’re on vacation; and much more! Subscribe today!
Just in time for Fourth of July, it’s fun to consider adding some truly American chicken breeds to your flock. These breeds are the backbone of a hardy, productive flock. They are good egg layers with high levels of production. They can endure the tough weather we often get in this country. And many have unique features, such as hawk-coloring to avoid predator detection. Nothing fancy, only purpose, for these breeds whose history, in many cases, goes back to our founding fathers and helped to bring about a growing nation.
Also, how can we get rid of mice naturally, without using dangerous rodenticides? It’s a challenge keeping our chickens healthy already, and we really could do without the complication of disease-carrying pests like mice, rats, and pest insects. There are some valid and legitimate reasons why we as backyard chicken keepers would prefer to shy away from rodent bait, so let’s look at some natural ways to get rid of mice and rats without the use of chemicals.
In this Issue:
+ Chicken Caesar Salad — The first time I saw my husband making his signature Caesar salad at a restaurant where we both worked, I was pretty impressed. Why? He wasn’t known to embrace cooking, yet here he was making this delicious salad right in front of the customers. Frank’s Caesar salad became one of the most requested salads at the restaurant. It morphed into many variations, including an easy chicken Caesar salad recipe, which I’m sharing today. What’s not to love about a piece of juicy grilled chicken atop a crunchy salad of Romaine lettuce, Parmigiano Reggiano, and homemade croutons? A meal in a bowl! By Rita Heikenfeld
+ Classic American Chicken Breeds — Just in time for Fourth of July, it’s fun to consider adding some truly American chicken breeds to your flock. These breeds are the backbone of a hardy, productive flock. They are good egg layers with high levels of production. They can endure the tough weather we often get in this country. And many have unique features, such as hawk-coloring to avoid predator detection. Nothing fancy, only purpose, for these breeds whose history, in many cases, goes back to our founding fathers and helped to bring about a growing nation. By Pam Freeman
+ A Broody Hen and Her DucklingsProvide Inspiration — When Helen Redfern moved from the city to the countryside, she started keeping ducks, then chickens. The ducks insisted on sleeping outdoors rather than in a coop and were taken by foxes at night. This left Helen with her chickens and a lingering question: Will a broody hen adopt ducklings? By Susie Kearley
+ DIY Rainwater Chicken Watering System — There are many options for building a chicken watering system. A search on DIY or homemade chicken waterers turns up loads of pictures and plans. While there is no absolute best waterer for chickens; you’ll need to decide which aspects of a chicken watering system are important to you. On our farm, this was two-fold. By Erin Phillips
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+ How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats in the Coop Naturally — How can we get rid of mice naturally, without using dangerous rodenticides? It’s a challenge keeping our chickens healthy already, and we really could do without the complication of disease-carrying pests like mice, rats, and pest insects. There are some valid and legitimate reasons why we as backyard chicken keepers would prefer to shy away from rodent bait, so let’s look at some natural ways to get rid of mice and rats without the use of chemicals. By Jeremy Chartier
+ How to Help Your Chickens Maintain a Healthy Digestive System — Knowing some basic chicken digestive system facts can make us better stewards of our feathered friends. Chickens don’t eat or digest in the same way we do, and they require some different things to maintain a healthy digestive system. Let’s look at some common issues found in a chicken’s digestive system, and I’ll give you a few facts you can apply to your flock’s feeding plan. By Jeremy Chartier
+ Poultry Blips from American History — The history of chickens and other domestic species of poultry has long been an integral part of our American history. From the earliest colonists arriving on sailing ships, frontier settlers, and pet chickens at the White House, we as Americans have always loved poultry. By Doug Ottinger
+ From Backyards to Factory Farms — It all started in the backyard … and in the basements of apartments and anywhere else you could keep a flock. Chicken keeping was tremendously popular in the 1800s as there were no such things as specialized chicken farms. Rude says that most people raised their own birds wherever they lived, in both the country and in the city. Having access to fresh eggs and meat was crucial because of the lack of refrigeration which wasn’t invented until the early 20th century. Productive hens were considered those that lay between 80 to 150 eggs a year. By Kenny Coogan
+ 10 Ways to Keep Your Chickens Happy When You’re on Vacation — Owning chickens brings many rewards: the satisfaction of caring for animals, the bonding it creates among our families, and of course, the eggs and meat that provide us with a natural food source. Along with it also comes challenges, such as how to go about caring for, watering, and feeding chickens while away on vacation or business. By Cherie Dawn Haas
+ Mobile Chicken Coop Benefits — Our chickens provide us with entertainment, they educate our city-dwelling friends and their children, and they provide us with healthy eggs that make up a big part of our diet. Because we’re responsible for them and they do so much for us, we’re motivated to take excellent care of them, and that includes keeping them happy. So as their treasured grass turned to a bare spot of earth, we began researching mobile chicken coops. By Cherie Dawn Haas
+ Dutch Hookbill and Aylesbury Ducks — Just like wildlife, domestic livestock can become endangered and extinct. The Dutch Hookbill and Aylesbury ducks are both currently listed as critical by The Livestock Conservancy. Consider adding these unique birds to your homestead to help save a heritage breed. Both breeds are docile and offer unique white or blue-green eggs. By Kenny Coogan
+ Chicken Treats: How to Raise Mealworms and Superworms — Learning how to raise mealworms and other insects for your chickens is cost-effective and ensures their treats are high quality. Mealworms and superworms, compared to raising crickets for chickens, will not smell. Crickets have this horrible habit of going to the bathroom all the time. Mealworms and superworms don’t chirp or jump. By Kenny Coogan
+ Chickens in a Minute — How to Keep Your Chickens Cool in Summer — With summer heat upon us, it’s important to remember that high temperatures can be harder on a flock than the cold temperatures of winter. The effects of heat are cumulative and can be enhanced by high humidity so be sure to keep vigilant during heat spells. A temperature of 80 degrees with high humidity can bring on heat-related problems. Keeping your chickens cool in summer is a must do. There’s nothing we can do to stop the heat, but we can help our chickens beat the heat. By Pam Freeman
More Great Resources, Stories, and Tips in Each Issue:
Growing Up With Chickens: Photo Essay
From The Editor 13/3: Exploring a Poultry Heritage
Coming Events 13/3
Reader Submitted Letters: Something To Crow About 13/3
Backyard Poultry Bookstore
Poultry Talk 13/3
Flock Photos 13/3
Just for Fun
And much more!
Backyard Poultry magazine is your best source for information on how to raise healthier, more productive backyard chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese and even keeping guinea fowl. Whether you live on a farm, call a suburban neighborhood home, or are mastering poultry farming in an urban environment, we have the how-to guides and tips.
Do you have a favorite chicken breed? Tell us which one and why below!