been a busy couple of weeks for our chickens. First, Mark
completed their new pasture on the sunny side of the yard, and we
moved them over with
much rattling of
flock was thrilled with dry soil to dustbathe in, tender chickweed to
nibble on, and with their new and improved perch
production seemed to increase nearly immediately, and our white
cochin’s case of diarrhea disappeared.
Meanwhile, I’ve been
putting a lot of thought into this year’s chicken game plan. You
can read the long version over on our homestead blog by following the
links below, but here’s the summary:
- We’re going to try to develop the perfect
pastured chicken breed for our neck of the woods. We’ve
whittled down our flock to our best foragers and layers and are
breeding them to expand our flock this year.
- We plan to raise several small sets of chicks either using a broody
hen (if she’ll cooperate) or the new, high-tech
incubator and brooder we bought. We’ll keep some of the
pullets as layers and eat the cockerels and any spare pullets as
- We’re expanding
our pastures to end up with seven (I hope!), giving us a total of a
tenth of an acre of grazing space. I’m playing rotation speed by
- We’ll be improving
our pastures with chickens in mind. We’ll keep last year’s
two pastures as grain and legume growing space, but will treat the
other pastures more traditionally (although I plan to add in some very
As usual, my forest
pasture plans are extremely experimental, so don’t emulate them
blindly. But I hope you’ll play along at home and let me know how
your own pasture experiments pan out.
ran straight for their chicken waterer.