What’s It Like to Raise a Large Flock of Chickens?
I grew up on the outskirts of town in a small house on about 10 acres. As long as I can remember, we had chickens and roosters roaming about. If I remember correctly, I believe the most chickens we had at one time was around 70. Not only is that a lot of eggs to collect and clean, but that’s a lot of feeding, watering and manure to clean up!
But Jake and Becky of White House on the Hill have me beat. This family is currently raising 85 chickens! And they’ve, along with their Lavender Orpington rooster, Tin Man, have taken the time to share with all of us what it’s like to raise that many chickens. The best part is that this family values their backyard flock; treats their birds with respect and take excellent care of them. There’s a lot to learn from Jake and Becky and their family.
Every morning starts with first letting all of the chickens out of the coop. Keeping chickens locked inside a coop is a great way to protect your flock from predators that hunt at night. making sure all of the chickens have what they need for the day. From filling their water buckets to filling all of the feed containers with chicken feed.
All 85 chickens are kept in 3 different areas. It’s a great system that this family has in place and is an easy way to keep this many chickens organized. They provide a containment area for the older chickens, one for the younger poulets and cockerels and another for the egg producers.
With so much experience raising so many different types of chickens, it’s only natural that you would have certain breeds that are your favorite. For Becky and Jake, they’ve taken a special liking to Americaunas, because of the blue colored eggs and gentle demeanor, Olive Eggers for their dark green colored eggs and Marans for their dark brown colored eggs.
Read More: Chicken Breeds That Lay Brown Eggs
Throughout the day is when they’ll take time to check the nesting boxes to collect all of those eggs. The kids seem to enjoy helping out with this part of the job.
According to Jake, throughout the day they’ll check on the chickens just to make sure that they’re alright. They’ll check on their water levels to make sure they have enough to stay cool and hydrated.
All of the chickens on the farm are contained with electric fencing designed specifically for poultry and permitted to free range within that area. While some of the meat birds are rotated in a chicken tractor that Jake and Becky built.
Pros and Cons of Raising Chickens
Raising chickens, especially 85 chickens comes with a lot of enjoyment and fulfillment, but it also is a lot of work. Here’s some of the pros and cons Jake and Becky point out about raising chickens.
- Fresh Eggs
- Fresh Meat
- Enjoyment of having animals around
- Getting up early every morning
- Having the yard tore up all the time
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