Haven Help Me

Working Chickens, Part 2: Counting Hens


Why Do You Want Chickens?

It’s really important to consider why you want to keep chickens before you talk about how many you need. If your purpose is just for the pleasure of watching their antics, then one or two is more than enough. Pest control? Same. You don’t need many chooks to keep pests at bay; that is, of course, depending on the size of your garden. However, if you want working chickens that provide eggs, compost, and tilling services, you’ll need to figure out what size flock fits your purpose and space.

Numbers Matter

In flock management, numbers really do matter. You need to make sure you have the right number of birds, as well as the correct amount of space per bird. Too many birds in too small of a space means endlessly cleaning poop and a big, muddy, stinky, mess of a chicken run. Too few means you’ll be working more than your chickens.

Counting Hens - The Formulas in Word Form

I am going to share with you my “formulas” for deciding on the correct number of chickens to keep. Now, keep in mind that I am not good at math. I love math and the order that it can bring to my life, nevertheless numbers can sometimes make my head go fuzzy and my eyes go crossed. If you are the same, please don’t stop reading! I'll try my best to make it clear, and there’s a lot of flexibility here. If you love numbers and are good at them, please don’t hesitate to make my formulas more precise. These formulas are meant to be a starting point, and you can take them anywhere you want to go.

You can either start with the number of eggs you consume or the amount of space you have. Space wasn’t a consideration for us, so we started by thinking about how many eggs we eat each week. My family of four goes through about 1-2 dozen eggs per week, though that fluctuates. When choosing a breed (which I won't talk about here) consider how many eggs a week each bird will lay. One of our Black Australorp hens produces about 5-6 eggs per week. By that math, we will need 2 to 4 hens to meet our egg needs. Unfortunately, it’s never really that simple. So, to cover for times when chickens are molting or broody, I recommend doubling that number.

The next thing to think about is how much space you need for your chickens vs. how much space you have to keep them in. They need about 2-4 square feet per hen in the coop if they have plenty of run, or 8-10 square feet if you will be keeping them cooped up a lot. If you ask me, our coop is a little on the small side, but the hens do have plenty of run/paddock, so they do alright.

The Formulas In Math-like Form

In mathematical notation, the formulas look something a little like this:

• #eggs consumed per week / #eggs per week laid by your choice of breed = #of hens needed. (Multiply your answer by two make sure you’re covered when hens are broody or molting.)

• #of hens x 2-4 square feet = coop square footage (if there’s plenty of run)


• #of hens x 8-10 square feet = coop square footage (if there’s not a lot of run)

How Much Total Space?

As far as runs and paddock space goes, you'll need 4-10 square feet of runs per chicken. Some larger breeds may need more, while bantams could probably do with less. What I have noticed is that if you keep too many birds in too small of a space, they will keep nearly anything from growing. That can be a problem if you are trying to grow forage for them.

The amount of space you need will greatly depend on what you have, how many eggs you want, and what your hens will lay, so you will need to do a little experimenting on your own. Hopefully this helps give you a launching point.

Other Things to Consider

Don’t forget to consider broodiness when looking at the different chicken breeds. Some breeds don’t go broody very often, and others go broody at the drop of a hat. When a hen is broody, she isn’t laying eggs!

Hens also wont lay after they are a certain number of years old, or when they are very young, or when they are molting.

Another thing to think about is the number of paddocks you have. Later in this series, I’ll be discussing how to create a paddock system, but it bears saying now that you can fit a larger flock into a smaller space if you rotate your birds in the proper amount of paddocks in a timely manner.

If you have a limited amount of space and a large egg need, you can do some things to optimize your space. You can also keep the chickens you can, and supplement your egg need by buying eggs elsewhere. There’s no shame in that!

Here at Haven Homestead, we have about twelve hens and one rooster. Some of our hens are old, some are newly hatched this year, and others are at prime laying age. As long as the entire flock isn’t molting, we usually get around a dozen eggs each week.

That's it for Part 2. Now go and figure out how many chickens fit your need. Do you have any other tips or comments? Leave us a note below.

Stay tuned for more on the following:

Growing Forage
Creating Paddocks
Designing Roosts, Coops, and Nesting Boxes
Having Dust Baths, Grit and Other Necessities
Keeping Them Watered
Using Chickens to Till and Fertilize
Roosters and Hatching Chicks

By Lindsay Hodge
Haven Homestead

An Introduction to Working Chickens


We've put our chickens to work...

When it comes to keeping chickens, you'll hear all about how they eat things they aren't supposed to and that they poop a lot! It's true, and it can be very frustrating. Here at Haven Homestead, we’ve experienced several iterations of chicken habitat and systems. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from each period. The main lesson we have learned is that you need to put your chickens to work!

During our free-range period, we learned that chickens will roost and poop wherever the heck they want to. It makes a huge mess. I had to fence off my front porch at one point so that they would stop pooping in my shoes! They also have favorite plants, and they will eat them into nothing-ness. Our one and only blueberry plant (at the time) was picked clean almost as soon as it leafed out, but they wouldn’t touch the dang ferns and blackberries that abound in our wee forest.

During our chicken-tractor days, we learned that they will roost in (and poop in) the nesting boxes. That required almost daily cleaning of the nesting boxes. Plus, we had too many birds in that tractor, so it needed to be moved twice a day. That was a lot of work, and a lot of money spent on nesting material. The work we put into the tractor did not equal the amount of work we got out of our chickens. 

The hens needed to be put to work, or else we were going to be worked to the bone. In the past two and a half years, we have tried about four different housing and run methods, including free ranging. We are still experimenting and growing.

As of now, we are implementing a paddock system with ample forage planted in and around the paddocks, and we free-range the birds on the weekends or whenever else we feel like it. We also feed them kitchen scraps, and they help us clean the garden out at the end of the growing season. We've designed our coop so that the poop cleaning is minimal and easy!

It’s been a little while since we’ve changed things around on our hens, but we have some plans to update our paddocks and possibly rebuild our coop. As we continue with our experiments, we keep making things better for us and for our flock. Here are some things that we keep in mind as we adapt:

1. Really low cost feeding. We don’t make a lot of money, and the point of having chickens is so we can save money on eggs and gardening. It doesn’t make sense to spend more on chicken feed than we would otherwise, so we have to make our hens work on a budget.

2. Just the right amount of work. Let’s face it, keeping animals of any sort is hard work. There are, however, some hacks or designs that will enable you to put your hens to work, so you don’t have to work so hard!

3. The poop is where it should be. We don’t like dealing with poop. It stinks, it’s messy, and nobody enjoys mucking out nesting boxes on a daily basis. Again, some thoughtful preparation here helps in making this a breeze.

You can put your chickens to work, too!

I’ve put together a series of posts where I will share the things we’ve learned about chickens and flock management so you can put your hens to work, too. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. As I mentioned before, we are still experimenting with things, and I could use your input!

Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the posts in this series. I’ll cover:

• Numbers Matter
• Planting Forage
• Creating Paddocks
• Deep Mulch Runs
• Designing Roosts, Coops, and Nesting Boxes
• Water, Dust Baths, Grit and Other Necessities
• Using Chickens to Compost, Till and Fertilize

Haven Homestead

Courage To Do

LindsayThis is a collection of stories and fables, some true, some fictional, and some a mixture of both, that will entertain everyone and anyone who has a little Grit! Retold by me, Lindsay Hodge of Haven Homestead. If you liked this story, head on over to Haven Homestead, or comment here and let me know.

Frank and Fred were good neighbors. They had been together since they were tadpoles swimming around in the duck pond at Haven Homestead. From dusk to dawn the two frogs would hop around the pond, climb the trees and splash and play. There was always plenty of food for the two of them, and all the rest of the frogs that lived in their bit of the forest. The ducks would chase them through the pen, and sometimes a child would come and catch one or both of them, but they always found their way back home. The two neighbors would often go for a quick hop-about, as good neighbors do.

Once, on one of these hop-abouts, a tragedy happened. The frogs had gone to a milk shed nearby. It wasn't far from their pond, and they had been there a few times before. There was an especially good spot in one corner where the frogs would hide and catch some of the tastiest flies. There was something different about the shed this time. Something that gave Fred the chills.

“I can't put my finger on it,” said Fred, “But I've got a bad feeling about this.”

“Oh, Fred! Don't be such a worry wort.”

The frogs took their usual route to their favorite snack corner. A hop onto a stool, followed by a jump to the shelf and a short, but precarious climb up the wall above the buckets of cream and milk. They were almost to the corner when Frank hollered, “WATCH OUT!”

Minnie Mouser, the resident barn cat, had been hiding and waiting for a tasty treat too. Frank saw her just as she was about to pounce! Fred jumped left, Frank hopped right. Minnie pounced on the shelf right where the two had been. She pursued the frogs from one side of the shed to the other. The frogs would jump and hop with Minnie never far behind. Finally, she had them cornered.

“There's only one way out,” whispered Fred.

“Where's that?” asked Frank.

Fred explained, “The buckets. If we can jump over that one right below us, we can sneak behind the one next to it, and hop out through that crack in the wall.”

As Minnie edged closer, Frank looked. There was no way. “We can't jump that far! At least we never have before!”

“We've got to try,” said Fred.

Suddenly there was no time left to talk. Minnie crouched, then her spring-like legs catapulted her forward and the two frogs leaped for their lives... Right INTO the bucket of cream.

Frank and Fred splashed into the cream head first. The bucket was deep and the sides were slick. Minnie tried to get to the frogs, but gave up in favor of some slightly easier prey that had caught her eye. The frogs were left to figure their way out of the bucket in relative peace.

“Whew!” sighed Fred. “I'm so glad that's over.”

“Don't get to cozy just yet. We've still got to get out of this bucket.” Frank looked around. From where he was treading, he couldn't see anyway out.

“Let's find out how deep this bucket is,” said Fred, “Maybe, you can stand on my shoulders and hop out.”

He swam to the bottom and realized that it was much too deep. He tried letting Frank stand on his back to jump while he was swimming, but Fred would sink too quickly for Frank to hop out. They tried using their sticky fingers to climb out of the bucket but the cream was thick and slippery. They couldn't get a good grip.

“This is just great. We've escaped being eaten by a cat to be drowned in a bucket of cream!” complained Frank. “Why don't we just give up now? It'll be easier.”

“Just keep swimming Frank,” said Fred, “We'll figure this out.”

Fred's ever-hopeful attitude was just a little annoying to Frank. It was hard to swim in the cream. Cream was much thicker than water and Frank was getting tired. Frank kept swimming, though he knew there was no hope.

“I swear, this stuff is getting thicker!” Frank bellowed. “I'm done. There's no way out.” Frank stopped kicking and sunk to the bottom.

Fred could not give up. He was sure that an answer would present itself soon enough, but his heart felt heavy. He had just lost a very good neighbor. The cream was thick, and getting thicker, but still Fred kicked his feet.

Suddenly, something about the cream changed. One moment it was so thick he could barely move his feet, and the next he could move more freely and there were chunks of something yellow floating all around him. The cream had turned into butter and whey! As he swam the butter got firmer and the whey got looser. Fred began to work the chunks into a sort of hill in the middle of the bucket, and in no time at all, Fred could stand on it. Fred flopped himself onto the top of the hill and rested for a moment.

Then Fred looked up from his perch on the top of the butter and said, “I think I can just make that.” He got into his best long jump position and with all of his might, he shot right out of the bucket.

The hop home was a bittersweet one for Fred. His neighbor was gone, but he was alive. He thanked God in Heaven for the strength to get through that mess, and he hurried home to take a bath.

“I don't think I'll ever visit that shed again,” thought Fred. He never did, but he never forgot the lesson he learned there either.

The moral of this story is:
Just keep kickin'
the cream will thicken!
When the going get tough just dig in!


Many Hands Make Light Work

LindsayThis is a collection of stories and fables, some true, some fictional, and some a mixture of both, that will entertain everyone and anyone who has a little Grit! Re-told by Lindsay Hodge of Haven Homestead.

Computer illustration chickens on grain pile
Photo by Adobe Stock/Riko Best

Many Hands Make Light Work (How the Little Red Hen Finally Got Some Help)

Millie stood at the edge of her field, dreaming of the delicious bread that she would make from the golden wheat that drooped its heavy heads and swayed in the wind. She had worked hard to get here. Millie had chosen just the right kind of wheat, prepared the ground, planted the seeds and nurtured the precious plants for months, all on her own. It was a lot of work. Especially for a hen. She was tired, but she was proud of the work that she had been able to accomplish. She just wished that she could have someone to share it with.

It wasn't like she didn't ask for help. When she asked Pete the Pig to help her pick the seed, he'd just snorted and said, “Not I.” Then he continued to wallow in his mud pit.

Millie asked Henry the Horse to help her plow the fields. It would have been short work for a horse his size, but he just whinnied, “Not I,” as he trotted off to the back field to play with Rover. Rover and Henry couldn't be bothered with work when there was playing to be done.

Millie asked Gander and Goose to help water and weed, but they had six new goslings to worry about. They had said, “Not I, but I wish I could.”

So Millie just worked. She worked harder than any hen had ever worked before, and just look at what she had accomplished! Now, it was time to harvest the brilliant crop. All morning, she had been clucking to the other hens about how wonderful it would be to work in her fields, and eventually taste the delicious bread that would come from her hard work. She went on and on about the bread. “The best part is going to be eating it!” assured Millie. When the sun had just crested the hill, Millie took her leave of scratching in the run to work on the wheat. When she arrived in the field she stood there for a moment to contemplate the wonder of it all.

The sun rose higher in the sky, and with her sickle in claw, Millie went to work. She was about half-way down the first row when she noticed Gloria and Ruth standing at the edge of the field. The two hens looked as if they weren't sure what to do. Millie raised one wing in a salute and hollered, “Hello my friends! What can I do for you?”

“Well,” said Gloria, “We actually wanted to ask what we could do for you.”

Millie just looked at the pair. Should she ask for help? Once she had explained all that there was to do, everyone else had said, “Not I.” She was afraid to ask anymore.

Ruth clucked and scratched a moment, and then she said, “We would like to try some of this bread that you are so excited about, and we thought you might like a little help with preparing it.”

That was all Millie needed to hear. “Well, come on over. I'll show you how to bundle this wheat.” And with that, the three little hens got to work cutting, bundling and stacking. They sang together as they worked, and by the time the sun had begun to set, they had finished the whole field.

“It would have taken me three days to do all that by myself!” clucked Millie.

“It was hard, but it was fun!” laughed Gloria.

“Indeed! What are we going to do tomorrow?” asked Ruth.

“Tomorrow we will thresh the wheat. If we have enough time, maybe we can even grind a little bit and make our first loaf of bread!”

It was hard to go to sleep that night. The three hens clucked with joy over the possibilities that tomorrow's work might bring. All of the other hens in the roost were annoyed at all the fuss the three were making, and maybe just a little bit curious.

Okay, they were a lot curious. Which is why, when Millie, Ruth, and Gloria took off for the fields the next morning, the whole flock joined them. In no time at all, the wheat had been threshed and the straw was stacked neatly in the barn. It took two shakes of a lamb's tail for Millie and the other hens to grind some wheat into flour and get a loaf rising.

The flock scratched around and talked as they waited for the bread to bake. They were having such a great time working together.

The bread was turning a beautiful golden brown, and the delicious smell drifted from one corner of the farm to another. Pete the Pig's stomach growled. Hank and Rover had to stop mid-gallop once the scent reached their noses. Gander and Goose and their wee goslings even managed to waddle up to the house. The hunger-inducing scent brought the whole farm to the kitchen window.

“Mmmm-mmmm!” bellowed Pete. “That smells mighty delicious! Do you think you could spare a slice for me?” Millie and the other hens started in surprise.

“Us too!” exclaimed Rover and Henry.

“It smells so delicious,” complimented the geese.

Millie was a little bit ruffled. How could she be expected to share her bread when they weren't willing to share the work? She bristled and clucked for a minute, but who could be upset for long with the heartwarming smell of delicious bread in the oven. Besides, Millie had a plan.

“I'm so sorry folks! We only have enough for us hens today. We can make some more later, but it will take some time to grind enough flour for all of you. It might take a few days. And besides we have to get another field planted. That is, unless you want to help.”

Millie laid out her plan for everyone to work together, all the while slathering some fresh butter on the homemade bread she had just pulled from the oven. She passed the slices around to the other hens, and took the last one for herself. The other animals left the hens to enjoy their bread, and took their hungry stomachs home, eager to work for some of their own.

The next morning, without any ado, Millie had all the help she could ask for, and boy was she glad for it. Pete was in charge of separating out the best seeds to sow for the next harvest. He snorted and snuffed and separated the seeds into two piles, one to grind and one to plant.

Hank and Rover plowed the field and planted the seeds. Father Gander and Mother Goose had their goslings operating the flour mill, and the hens all worked on baking delicious loaves of bread.

Millie watched her friends working and playing together and having a grand time. She knew that she could do it all on her own. She had done it before, but as she stood there watching her friends working together, she thought to herself, “This is how it should be.” And it is.

The moral of this story is:
Don't be a shirk,
If you want the perk,
Then always remember:
Many hands make light work!


haven homestead banner


Help Me Choose Some Plants

LindsayHello my fellow GRIT readers! 

Chris and I just had a great idea. We want to know more about certain plants and different cultivars so we can be knowledgeable about them when we are designing properties. With that in mind we have found some really awesome resources, and we'd like to share them with YOU!

We posted our first plant profile on our other blog, Comfrey Can Do! Check it out.

comfrey | courtesy Leslie Flanigan/www.Comfrey-Central.com 

Photo: courtesy Leslie Flanigan/www.Comfrey-Central.com

Which brings me to my request. I need some help picking more plants to feature. We already have a list started (things like columnar apples, seaberry and garlic), BUT I want to know what you want to know about. Keep in mind that we are in the Pacific Northwest, and we will be focusing on plants that we can grow here. However, we are open to any and all suggestions. SO suggest away!

Thanks for your help!


Reaching Tortilla Equilibrium

LindsayWhen you live a more sustainable life, you inevitably come to the decision to make your own bread, or not. Some folks feel like it’s an easy decision. Kind of a “Duh! Of course I’m going to make my own bread” moment, but for me, it wasn’t so easy. I really value my time, and bread, no matter what kind, requires time and preparation. For a long time I felt like I just didn’t have the time to bake my own bread, let alone make tortillas or fresh dinner rolls. And besides not having the time, I didn’t know how!

After listening to some motivational speeches on time management, I realized that I was living re-actively, and not proactively. (I’ll go into that theory in another post.) That lead me to finding the time to make breads, and I’m sure glad I did. However, the theory of living proactively didn’t prepare me for the difficulties of figuring out the HOW of making my own breads. I needed to find equilibrium; some balance between a recipe that worked for me and my family, using my time wisely, and knowledge and experience enough to make delicious time-worthy breads.

Whether you are a newbie bread maker or a veteran, you know that making bread is sometimes a discouraging experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are making regular yeast bread, sourdough, flat breads, dessert breads or any other kind of grainy deliciousness, things go wrong. Bread baking is as much a science as it is an art. No matter what the outcome is, I learned that the time spent was definitely worth it. My advice to you: Don’t give up on finding equilibrium.

I was in college when I first started making my own bread. It was shortly after I married Chris. After several months of “My mom always makes bread” and “I really love homemade bread,” I decided that I was going to give it a hearty go. I only had one class on Fridays, so that became Bread Day.

Nearly every Friday, I would come home from my lab, mix up the dough, and have lunch ready for Chris when he came home in between classes. As soon as our lunch was over, it would be just about time for me to form the loaves. It wasn’t anything fancy and the first few batches came out really rough, but I did it. Unfortunately, as soon as that semester ended, so did Bread Day. I am also still searching for the perfect sandwich loaf recipe. I haven’t yet found Sandwich Loaf Equilibrium, but when I do, I will look back on those early tries with fondness.

Whenever I try something new, there always seems to be a learning curve. Even if the first try is successful, sometimes subsequent batches are NOT. My experience with tortillas was no different. The first batch was so successful! I stopped buying tortillas at the store immediately, I posted about it on BOTH of our blogs, and I have made them probably once a week since January. Maybe more often. I typically use one of two recipes, one with sourdough and one without. Check them out at my other blog!

They haven’t been super awesome every time I’ve made them, but that first time when it was so mind-blowingly awesome kept me trying. (Chalk one up for beginner’s luck!)

Finished Tortillas

Now that I’ve had about a year of experimenting with tortillas, I’d like to share my experience with you. I’m sure the advice applies to other breads, too. Here’s a list of my problems and solutions. I hope they help.

  • I almost always forget the salt. There’s nothing like a bland tortilla. (Or bland soup, or bland rolls, or bland cookies … I forget the salt in everything!) I now have salt highlighted, underlined, and in bold on my recipe cards. I haven’t forgotten the salt in a few weeks, but I won’t check this one off the list just yet!

  • I didn’t separate the dough before the rest. That meant that the dough was too stiff to roll flat enough. If you can’t roll your tortillas flat enough, then you get tough inflexible tortillas. Needless to say, I separate the dough BEFORE the rest.

  • I tried to memorize the recipe. It’s really troublesome when you can’t remember whether it’s 1/3 or 2/3 cup of oil … now, I always take out the recipe card even if I don’t look at it.

  • I used too much oil. I thought for a little while that my tortillas were inflexible because I didn’t use enough oil. That resulted in a few batches of really oily tortillas. Having the recipe card out really helps. SO does reading the recipe card now and again. I now know that I wasn’t separating the dough before the rest!

  • I didn’t use enough oil. This made my tortillas dry and flaky. Again, having the recipe card out helps. So does not trying to be superwoman.

  • I burnt them. That’s what happens when you stop paying attention to the frying pan! I try to roll out all the tortillas first, and then fry them, or I roll out one and fry it before I move on to the next. This still happens, but now that I have a system, it happens less often, and more often because I’m playing with my children instead of cooking dinner!

  • I didn’t roll them flat enough. If you roll them nice and thin, they puff. That puff is important to the flexibility of the tortilla. I always make sure to roll them out as flat as possible.

  • I used a hard wheat flour and didn’t knead it long enough. My tortillas, and all of my bread, were dry for awhile. That hard wheat flour is really thirsty flour, and it’s very tough. I didn’t realized that flours acted differently from each other. Now I know how to adjust for when I switch up my flours! I typically prefer soft whole wheat flours, and I make sure to knead until the gluten develops.

It is a fact of life that we can’t have perfect loaves every time. If you learn from your mistakes, eventually things get better. After a year of trials and failures, with the increasingly more often success, I have pretty much reached Tortilla Equilibrium.

Tortillas and Rolling Pin 

There are all sorts of people out there doing the same things you’re doing, and we can learn from each other, too. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we try something new. Recently, one of my favorite magazines, GRIT, put out a special bread issue, GRIT's Guide to Homemade Bread. I am just devouring it! (Not really, ‘cause that would be weird …) It has all sorts of goodies, including a little snippet from my original sourdough post, and a photo by yours truly! Besides my obvious excitement over being published, the issue is one of the best I’ve read in a long time. If you’re interested, check it out here.

Resources like this one from GRIT make it even easier to get started, and keep on the path of making your own breads. Just remember, take the time, and don’t give up! You can do it!

Now that I’ve reached Tortilla Equilibrium, I’m ready to start on a new adventure … does anyone have any suggestions?

A Better Way to Raise Chicks

LindsayOne of the greatest perks to being a creative genius is that you can pretty much do anything that you like, with whatever you have, as long as it works. I like to think that my husband and I are creative geniuses. Recently we have created a chicken coop out of pallets and reclaimed tin roofing; we built a rabbit hutch out of reclaimed lumber and tin, free cages and feeders, and worm bins; and we have innovated a new way of raising store-bought chicks.

Little Black Australorp 

I want to start by saying that my husband REALLY doesn't like to clean up poop. That is why we are using worm bins under our rabbit cages. That is why we have chicken tractors and a moveable coop. We don't keep our cats indoors so we don't have to worry about a litter box (not to mention I'm allergic), and we let our dog range when it's time to do her business. They have the whole 5 acres to do their business, and unless it's on a walk way, we don't have to worry about it!

So far we've been successful in avoiding having to handle a lot of poop. Of course you have to deal with it. Poop is a part of life. But we don't have to do it very often!

When it came to getting chicks, my sweet husband devised a plan where we could use a worm bin under the baby chicks. The worms and kitchen scraps could feed the chicks, the worms would compost the chick poo, and we wouldn't have to change the chick bedding. It seemed like a real win-win.

chicks in bin

Mostly it worked out great, but we had too many chicks in too small of an area and they did start to smell like stinky chicks towards the end. I think that part of the problem was that we didn't shred our newspaper up fine enough. I also think that we ran out of worms! All in all it was a pretty successful venture, but I would definitely do things differently if I do it again.

Here are some things that we learned along the way:

1.) Put your chicks and worms in an appropriately sized box, and make sure that you have a good 8 to 10 inches of worms and dirt on the bottom of your container. Too many chicks in too small of a container with not enough worms can really put a damper on your plans for not smelling them!

2.) Use wood shavings instead of newspaper, or else shred the newspaper up really fine. If you don't you'll have compaction problems.

3.) Be sure to use a cultivator to mix up the worm dirt/chick bedding every other day or so. When you mix it up, you are teaching the chicks how to scratch, keeping the bedding from getting compacted, and giving the worms and the chicks an opportunity to eat more food!

You will still have to provide your chicks with feed and grain, but with any luck you will definitely cut the feed costs by quite a bit. AND you won't have to worry about cleaning up a bunch of chick poop!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters