4 Types Of Poultry You Can Raise With Hens To Be More Self-Sufficient [Podcast]

4 Types Of Poultry You Can Raise With Hens To Be More Self-Sufficient [Podcast]

I’m a big believer that if you have the space, raising more than one type of poultry will help you become more self-sufficient.

 

In addition to chickens, we also raise ducks, quail, and turkeys, and we’ve considered adding guineas and even an emu (although emus can jump well, and require high fencing, and since we already have enough livestock trying to break free on any given day, we dropped the idea).

 

While chickens should be the cornerstone of any homestead, ducks lay better in winter and aren’t susceptible to many diseases chickens suffer from.

 

Turkeys can be a valuable asset if you hatch their eggs, since people will pay a premium for organic, pasture-raised turkey at Thanksgiving.

 

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In this podcast, we discuss 4 other poultry you can raise on your farm, their advantages and disadvantages compared to chickens, and whether you can house them with your hens.

You’ll learn:

 

  • How turkeys, ducks, quail, and guineas can enhance your poultry flock
  • Why each has certain advantages that compliment chickens
  • Some reasons each might not be for you
  • Why I don’t recommend keeping chicks and ducklings together
  • Mistakes we made when starting out our homestead you can avoid

 

 

Links we discuss:

Butcher Box
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I’d like to hear from you!

Which poultry would you like to raise with your chickens? Leave a comment below!

Finally! An egg!

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After many months of being on strike, my red hen finally laid an egg. In reality, I think the low daylight hours effected her, so I added a light to their new coop, followed by a few threats about the stew pot. (Don’t let anyone tell you threats of the pot don’t work because THEY DO.)

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Now to check fertility! This is welcome news since the passing of Mrs Leedle means this is my last laying hen for a while. I already have 2 juvenile roosters from the red hen, as well as 13 from Mrs Leedle, and they are very healthy and very (very) fast growing. Definitely genetics I want to keep around! They have nice broad chests which promise good meat. My blue copper marans are very pretty birds but slower growers than my mixed breeds. And now we have eggs to eat!

So far, out of the first hatch I have 5 roosters and 3 pullets. Out of my second hatch, it’s hard to tell, but if my feather sexing is correct, I only have 2 pullets and 6 roosters. I’ve been told to give them away or sell them because of the cost of raising them to slaughter age. There are so many for sale or free on craigslist that I don’t see that being a viable solution. I’ve come up with a sustainable way to manage all these roosters.

 

When spring comes, I will use them for meat and also insect control. The reason we got chickens in the first place was to control the flies and mosquitos, and they did a great job. It worried me that confining my laying and breeding chickens to the coop would bring back all the bugs. But preserving the flock from predators if equally important. Using the excess roosters to control the bugs is a win/win solution, especially since we plan to electrify the whole property fence. They will require less feed since they will be free ranging, and they get to live the good life scratching for bugs, etc.
Win/win!

What do you do with your excess roosters?

Wow, that was an eye opener

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One of my young roosters

Today was interesting. We visited a chicken raising operation nearby to buy hay for the farm critters. It was a new hay dealer, the teenage son’s operation, and his dad owns the chicken factory. Yes, I’m calling it a factory because it was contracted to Tysons Chicken, which is a big player in this part of the world. So, I’m guessing, they produce their chickens to Tysons specifications. Let’s just say the alternate title to this post is “Why I homestead: part 2.”

I don’t have photos, although some people told me I should have taken some, in part because I wasn’t there to do an exposé, and that’s not really my agenda.

Experiencing first hand what you read about on the internet is eye opening. I hate those stories because they’re usually so laden in emotion and propaganda, it’s hard to know what’s truth and what’s blown out of proportion. Don’t think for a minute I’m exaggerating, and as proof I offer that the owner was really nice and it was clear this was just another normal day.

As we pulled in, we spotted a tractor with a bucket full of dead chickens. There were dead chickens all in the living quarters for the chickens, so the living had to live among the dead. The smell of rotting meat was overwhelming. They didn’t bother to clean up the dead in an efficient and sanitary manner.

It was beyond disgusting, and it turned me off of Tysons and reinforced that by raising my own, humanly treated chickens, I’ve made the right decision. At one point I almost threw up and I have a strong stomach. And on a farm, you see a lot of death (another one of those things you aren’t prepared for but get used to), so really, it was the unsanitary practices making my stomach churn.

My chickens will even get their own garden of goodies next spring! I scouted a location on the property near a pond that can’t be used for us. So I’ll grow greens, corn, millet, etc. especially for them. On the pond itself, I’m thinking of growing cranberries for the chickens!

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