Chickens are a necessity on every farm. So far our biggest fans, Soulsby farm, have given me a bit of inspiration for chickens, and have an article I have read a few times, Why everyone should own chickens . Lovely to connect with other small farmers from around the world. Much easier than buying books!! They have written 10 reasons why one should own chickens. I would like to add to that.
Great news is yesterday my chickens produced their first egg. It was exciting, I never knew a chicken egg would make me smile, and has been a talking point for me for over 24 hours. I feel like I am a farmer now. We have suffered only two losses of chickens in the last few weeks. And from very kind neighbours and new friends I have been donated quite a few wonderful chickens, all different shapes and sizes. I do have too many roosters, but not worried about too many cocks spoiling the broth. I am considering building a chicken tractor to assist in housing the roosters and keeping them separate from the hens, aswell as assisting in soil regeneration.
We have 4 roosters and 9 hens currently and they are really adding to the funny of the farm with the loud rooster calls at 4:00am, lunchtime and in the evening. Anyway to add to Soulsby farms 10 reasons I would like to use a few of their ideas aswell add some of my own.
10 reasons to have chickens on your farm:
1- They really are wonderful animals to have on a farm, they bring you joy everyday, watching them work their magic, make mistakes, peck your feet, play with the dogs.
2- Producing your own organic farm fresh eggs make you feel like a farmer, and saves you buying mass-produced eggs from only god knows where.
3- You are on your way to a self sustainable existence when they start producing eggs and chicks.
4 – They are very low maintainance, and require very little attention to survive and have a good existence.
5- Thier feathers and egg shells can be used and actually must be used in a wormery.
6 – Chickens droppings are very high in nitrogen. So cleaning, raking the chicken coop is very beneficial for your soil and especially your compost heaps. Chicken manure is very “hot” so don’t add it directly to soil in large quantities, rather throw it in your compost heap and let it break down organically.
7-Pest Prevention – They enjoy eating snails, slugs, worms, ants and just about any little creature that could be harming your veg garden.
8 – Reusing your kitchen scraps can either be used in your wormery or can be left in the chicken coop, they enjoy eating most things.
9 – They are quite good alarm systems for predators such as snakes, jackals and civets.
10 – You can also eat the chickens and sell them off to neighbours.
There are not to many problems you will face with chickens, just make sure they don’t get into your herb garden as they love scratching around with their feet and will damage little herb gardens. I have learnt. They also can carry lice which is not nice. So as with all things be cautious and enjoy these little creatures on your farm. They enjoy your company to.
Have a very important potjie to prepare for very important guests. Next week I will be spending time on the chicken coop, to extend it, give them an enclosed outside area, build a proper gate and just make a better home for them. As farmer Brown says: ” They taste so good, cause they eat so good”.