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  1. You learn how to do it, Janine…this is one of those skills that in spite of reading and as much preparation as you can — you still learn from doing it, day after day.

    Really, you only need to worry about a ‘mess’ every month, and only for an hour, while you clean out the chicken coop. (And fertilize your garden and flowerbeds at the same time!) If you keep them in a chickenyard, instead of letting them run around your yard, any poop will be kept more contained.

    We’re in the process of fencing off a large yard for them. (Our entire backyard is enclosed with 6′ wire fencing, which has made it easy to put this off. But my perennials and garden have paid for it…) After the first frost, though, it’s not that big a deal to let them run loose at least a few days a week. They really are great scratcher-uppers, and have cleaned out the weeds nicely.

    We normally close the coops up at dark, to help protect the chickens. (We have coyotes and other predators around here, including a large neighborhood fox.) And normally, our Golden Labs stay outside until dark, as well. One night, because one of our dogs was having such trouble with allergies, we kept both dogs inside. Unfortunately, Mr. Fox chose that night to visit. We lost two of our babies — just as they were starting to lay.
    I guess I should be grateful he didn’t kill more. Since then, we are very careful to keep the dogs outside every night until the coops are closed up…much to their dismay. But we haven’t lost any more chickens.

    Thanks for writing. It definitely is worth it, hassles and mess and all, to raise chickens!
    Cindy Brick recently posted..How About You?My Profile

  2. Edward, you can ALWAYS sell the eggs. People go gaga for them, especially when you use the words “free-range,” “fresh” and “organic.”

    My goal from the start was to sell enough eggs to pay for the hens’ feed — in effect, giving us ‘free’ eggs, if you don’t count the expense for wood for their coops. And that has worked very well. They’ve even ‘paid’ for some of the coop expenses, too.

    Now, if I could only teach them a little kung fu, to deal with foxes…

    thanks for writing. Love your blog.
    Cindy Brick recently posted..Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Headed for CheyenneMy Profile

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