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Our Backyard Chicken Story Philippe Ernewein Harper Rose Ernewein

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1 Our Backyard Chicken Story Philippe Ernewein Harper Rose Ernewein


3 We want chickens because: They are good for the environment. Essentially small bio-refineries, chickens take in kitchen scraps and garden wastes, producing eggs and fertilizer. They make great pets, are entertaining to watch, and help bring families and neighbors together. They teach children where food comes from, and taking care of them teaches the children responsibility Virtually all of the eggs at supermarkets are from chickens that spend their entire lives in tiny boxes, never seeing the light of day until their egg production begins to decline and they are slaughtered. Backyard chickens live much better lives than factory chickens and animal welfare is advanced. From:

4 Easter Egger Friendly, great layers of large blue and green eggs, and (rarely) white, creamy brown or even pinkish eggs. Their smaller body size makes them good in the heat, and their small pea comb means they do well in cold, too, because they are not as susceptible to frostbite.



7 Silkie Of all the ornamental chicken breeds, the Silkie Bantam is the most popular and most loved. The lap dog of the chicken world complete with hair-like plumage and an incredibly sweet temperament. Silkies were originally bred in China, where they are still kept (and eaten) today. They have black skin and bones and 5 toes instead of the normal 4.




11 Plymouth Rock Popular dual-purpose chickens on small farms today. Friendly, great layers of large brown eggs and able to withstand cold weather quite nicely. Tolerate confinement, they're most happy when they get to range freely.


13 Adventure Dad Clip

14 Interesting Facts 1.A chickens heart beats at the rate of 280-315 times a minute. 2.Alektorophobia is the fear of chickens. 3.The heaviest chicken on record weighed in at 23 lb 3 oz. 4.A chicken has a body temperature of 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit.



17 Do you need roosters for hens to lay eggs? A: No. This is one of the most common misconceptions about chickens. Hens will lay eggs just as well in the absence of roosters. If roosters are present, however, the eggs may be fertilized.

18 How often do chickens lay eggs? That depends on three main factors: 1. The breed of chicken. 2. The hen's age. 3. The season.

19 Will owning pet chickens put me in violation of town ordinance? Englewood resident? Some municipalities allow residents to keep poultry and some don't. The best thing to do is check with your local zoning and health boards.


21 How much care do pet chickens require? They're much easier than dogs: no walking, no twice- daily feeding, no baths, no grooming. With the proper housing they're a very low-maintenance pet. Daily: a "checking on", egg collection, and closing the coop if you've let them out. As necessary: fill feed and water containers. Monthly: change bedding and remove that free fertilizer (poo) so it can be put to good use! Twice a year: a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the coop.

22 Will the eggs my pet chickens lay taste better than store-bought? Without a doubt. The chickens in your backyard will lay eggs unlike any you've tried before. A good rule of thumb: the more orange the egg yolk, the more healthy and better-tasting the egg is.

23 How much do chickens cost? Baby chicks cost $1-$5 each, depending on a variety of factors including the sex (females are more expensive than males) and how rare the breed. Started pullets (young hens that have just started laying eggs) can cost $15-$25 each.


25 Will I save money by having chickens? No more so than a gardener would growing tomatoes. If you're currently buying cage-free organic eggs, you may be able to break even by having your own chickens. There are lots of great reasons to have your own chickens, but saving money is not one of them.

26 Can chickens fly? Sort of. Smaller (lighter) breeds, and "bantams" -- which are the same as "standard" breeds but about 1/4 the size -- can fly 25-50 feet and will roost in trees if allowed to. Heavier breeds have much more limited flight.

27 Do chickens really "come home to roost"? Yes! Chickens will come back to the same place to sleep every night -- so you can let your chickens roam your yard during the day and when it gets dark they will return to their coop to catch up on their beauty rest.

28 How noisy are chickens? Roosters are VERY noisy, and contrary to popular belief, they don't just crow in the morning. They crow all day long. Hens are much quieter -- you basically won't hear them until they've just laid an egg, or if they're threatened.

29 Is there really such a thing as a "pecking order"? Yes. This is a very real phenomenon. All chicken flocks have a well-defined pecking order. It's their way of preventing mayhem. The lucky chicken at the top of the pecking order basically gets to push everyone around. She gets first access to food, water, prime roosting spots and so on. If she doesn't like what anyone else is doing she has full pecking rights.

30 Can I have just one chicken? You shouldn't. Chickens are social creatures and they will not do well alone. We advise a minimum of two.

31 What if one of my pet chickens gets sick? Take it to a veterinarian that specializes in avian medicine or farm animals.

32 Do cats attack chickens? In the vast majority of cases, no, but you do hear of this once in a while. Most cats are more intimidated by grown chickens than chickens are of them. Baby chicks are more at risk because they're helpless, but again in our experience cats aren't interested in them. Best to take precautions.


34 Do you have to give chickens baths? No! Chickens take dust baths that keep them clean and free of pests. However, if you plan on showing your chickens in a Poultry Show, you'll want your bird looking her best, so you can wash them with a gentle cleanser and blow them dry.


36 How long do chickens live? It's common to hear of a pet chicken living eight to ten years. Once in a while you hear reports of 15 years or more! However, it is a rare bird indeed that can live that long.


38 Coop Requirements For six hens, a house measuring 5 x 7 feet Nest boxes, one for every three laying birds 12 inches squared and 14 inches high Water & food; bedding





43 Resources htm htm Keeping Chickens: The Essential Guide to Enjoying and Getting the Best From Chickens by Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis

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