Why Raising Chickens is the best possible hobby for, well, anyone.
this introduction may be reproduced and distributed freely, please reference it's origin: www.FredsFineFowl.com
If you live in the country or semi-rural area, take a gander outside and look around on a bright spring morning. Take a walk, let the dew laden grass soak the toes of your shoes. Breathe in that fresh country air. Listen to the wild birds singing their territorial songs and attract their mates. It’s not the city, it’s not the grind that most people face each and every day. It’s the country, but is something missing? It’s an opportunity which should not be wasted.
For me, having land in the Pennsylvania countryside, among dairy, horse and cattle farms, brings opportunity. A chance to live better, healthier and more earth friendly than ever before. An ideal setting for children to grow, and to do so, understanding the delicate balance between land use and a healthy environment.
What do we really control in the fast moving world? Precious little actually, but what portion we have, we may make the most of. If you’ve read the book, Fast Food Nation, seen the film Super Size Me, or read Natural Cures by Trudeau, you’re already informed. Growing your own food, practicing organic gardening techniques and getting technology out of your life as much as is practical, is a great start to general health and well being.
If you can’t imagine constructing and maintaining huge barns, long fence lines, hog wallows or milking cows twice a day, but want to take part in some form of agriculture, chickens may be the answer. On the other hand, if you already raise cattle, chickens may be a great benefit to you and your livestock.
Chickens come in many many breeds and hundreds of types/varieties, which define their appearance and often temperament. They are obtained with very little initial investment (small scale) and require only basic facilities. Gallus Domesticus (domestic chicken) provides animation to the landscape, a diversion from the daily grind, a learning opportunity for children, companionship for the lonely and unbeatable nutrition for the health conscious consumer. They perform natural insect control, may provide eggs year round, fertilize gardens and turn compost piles. May become pets if you desire, can be shown in the oldest judged livestock shows in the United States and fill gaps in our lives we didn’t know we had.
Free ranging flocks demonstrate behaviors and social order conspicuously absent from the battery raised hens. Allowing birds their freedom to range, requires less effort than one may think. The flock tender insures they have healthy range (no pesticides, herbicides or industrial fertilizers), clean water and healthy feed rations. Provide a suitable shelter/coop into which the chickens may retreat overnight and during inclement weather conditions. Chickens depart the coops in the morning when the critter proof doors are opened and return in the evening on their own, after which you simply close them in. Stress free living, benefits the chickens, which results in fewer losses due to illness as well as exponentially greater resistance to pathogens and poultry specific diseases. In return, they provide us with healthier food resources (animal and vegetable) as well as reducing our own levels of stress. Observing chickens going about their daily routines, making their own choices and demonstrating natural behaviors, grounds the keeper in the feel good process of providing well for an animal which provides well for us in return.
Think you may want to establish a small flock, but don’t know where or how to begin? Don’t want to read several books or surf the boggling resources on the net? Then consider a visual learning experience, where everything is introduced at the most practical level possible. Click on the page in the top margin marked Chicken DVD and learn how you may obtain a great visual resource for the small flock poultry enthusiast. There is something for all ages in this thoughtful production. It may serve as a wonderful introduction for elementary aged students about to begin a egg hatching unit or introduce an adult to an amazing and rewarding pass time.
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