Eggs and chickens have always been an important part of most peoples lives, and the whole subject of free-range chickens has become a worldwide issue. Caged birds are no longer seen as an ethical way to raise these animals, and the price of store-bought Free Range eggs can be expensive.
Raising your own chickens is very doable these days, and if you have space, it is even possible to raise chickens in the city. Roosters are probably not recommended due to the noise factor but hens can be a brilliant pet for children, and nothing beats a homegrown egg.
We used to keep chickens when we lived in Clevedon, and the children adored them as cuddly pets, though you needed to have a proper enclosure for them as ours used to come in the house the whole time which can be messy. Hens have real personality though and can be loads of fun.
Chickens are relatively inexpensive and easy to raise. You can buy day-old chicks from local feed stores and children love to look after them at this cute fluffy stage. You will need a sturdy box and special chick food and water. Handle the chicks regularly, so they become used to people, and they will be happy to be cuddled latter in life.
Give them a safe little area to play and scratch in outside. We even used to take our baby chicks to the beach with us when we went on holiday. They loved to zoom around the sand and provided great entertainment for us all.
There are some foods you should avoid feeding your hens. Anything salty is not a good idea as you can cause salt poisoning. Dried and raw beans are toxic to hens and sugar is best avoided. Raw potato peels and avocado skin is also to be avoided.
When you think about how to raise your chickens you need to be thinking about the basics of chicken health. Herbs can be a wonderful way to get ultimate health out of your birds and can be easily added to their feed or their water. Nettle is very high in calcium, potassium, protein, manganese, phosphorus, and Vitamins A & C, so, therefore, is a perfect add-on to your hen's diet.
The most usual problems regarding chicken health are caused by mites, body lice, and worms. Nettle and garlic are both great herbs for treating and preventing worms and also the garlic is good for helping to prevent lice and mites. You can also grow insect repelling herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and feverfew near the hen house where the hens can either nibble or brush against them.
Oregano is an anti-parasitic, antifungal herb which is great to include in your chicken's feed and I love to add cider vinegar as a natural daily tonic for healthy birds. It will also help keep the water fresh. Dandelion is considered a complete food by itself and Calendula flowers contain high levels of sulfur to help naturally improve yolk colour.
Kelp and rosehips will also add natural vitamins and minerals to your chickens overall good health.
So for those of you contemplating the idea of keeping chickens, I would strongly recommend the add-on of gorgeous, healthy herbs to produce gorgeous, healthy hens.
For a free copy of “Remedies for Health Problems of the Organic Laying Flock” click here.