Working Chickens, Part 6: Grit, Dust Baths, and Other Necessities

| 12/15/2016 3:45:00 PM


Here on Haven Homestead, we keep a number of different animals. We have meat rabbits, ducks, a goat, a cat, a dog, and of course, chickens. The one thing that surprised me about the poultry was the differences in anatomy between them and me. There is not much different between rabbit and a human on the inside, but chickens and other poultry ... They are different!

Before we raised chickens, I had heard of gizzards, but I never really knew what they were; and I could only guess at how eggs were made. This article is all about caring for your chickens and the specific needs they have that are different from the other animals on the farm.

Water and Feed

It goes without saying that your chickens need to be fed and watered. But what do you feed them, how much, and how often? That is where things get more complicated.

As far as feed goes, chickens need three things: grain, greens, and proteins. For some really great information on chicken feed, visit this website: I really like what they have there.

As far as amounts go, we tend to feed our chickens as much as they can eat. That means we toss out an amount of feed and check back later in the day. If there is still a lot feed left on the ground, then we feed less the next day. If there is nothing left and it’s only been a few hours, that is a sign that they need more feed, so we feed them again. If we visit the chickens a few hours after feeding them and there is only a little bit left, we keep feeding them that amount.