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A Grower’s Eggsperiment – “Get Me Some Chickens”

Our blog feature, FarmTek’s Farmers, will include posts from FarmTek employees who also happen to be experts in topics such as dairy farming and backyard chickens because, well, they are real farmers! This week’s FarmTek Farmer is Kathleen Osgood. Kathleen is going to tell you about her start as a backyard chicken farmer.

Backyard ChickensHello FarmTek blog followers! This will be my first post of several in the coming months so I wanted to quickly introduce myself. My name is Kathleen and I am a Senior Account Manager here at FarmTek. I work in the ClearSpan group and my days are comprised of helping growers design their dream greenhouses and high tunnels- a sweet gig! I am coming on five years with the company and love getting to chat with savvy farmers every day.

I, myself, am an avid gardener with a small cold frame and several raised beds which I use to produce greens, tomatoes, and peppers during the summer. That is, when I don’t forget to water them the second week of June…yes that happened. Anyhow, I suppose I would be remiss in describing myself if I failed to mention that I am a BIG fan of all things locally grown and deliciously natural. I love eating fresh, home-grown produce when the seasons allow for it, but more importantly, I like eggs.

Backyard eggsI mean I REALLY like eggs. I’m a two egg every morning with a hardboiled in the afternoon for a snack kinda gal. I love the taste, the protein…you get the idea. So last summer, when the grasshoppers and grub worms were out of hand and I lamented to my like minded neighbor the woes of trying to prevent pests naturally, he responded that I should, “get me some chickens.” Let’s just say a spark was lit.

So here I am, a proficient grower with little to no experience with livestock, planning on buying chickens for my hobby farm. Am I crazy? Probably. Let’s just say I’m embarking on what we at FarmTek will call an eggsperiment. Fortunately, I work with a very “aggy,” staff (this is FarmTek after all) and Joe, from our E- Commerce department, has a whole mess of chickens of his own. He has been a great resource in helping me decide on housing and feeding/watering supplies that I will need to best support my soon- to-be new birds. Thanks Joe, you are such a flockstar! I look forward to filling you all in on my adventures in the coming weeks. Check back soon!

Do you have any advice for Kathleen? What do you wish you knew when you got your first chicks?

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh, you are going to LOVE having chickens! Not only do they provide hours of entertainment, they will de-bug and weed your garden, till it and fertilize it. And then (if that wasn’t enough) they make you breakfast! We’ve had our flock for a year and I can’t believe we didn’t get them sooner.
    The one thing I wish I’d figured out sooner rather than later was that chicks will poop in EVERYTHING! Their water especially. I changed their water 6 or 7 times a day. Then we discovered poultry nipples (thanks FarmTek!) and set up a poop-free waterer with a few pieces of old hose, a couple of fittings and a 5 gallon bucket. It works great!

    March 8, 2012
  2. Kathy MacSorley #

    I absolutly love my chickens, all 63 of them! They come running when i get home, happy with their dinner and give me (and half my neighborhood) breakfast. What more could you ask for! Lol

    March 9, 2012
  3. I have a flock of 50ish egg layers, and I concur: keeping chickens is fabulous. We use mobile, floorless pens, though they free-range in the daytime (there is a downside to this; our porch is the most sheltered area in a windstorm, and I do not want them up there!). The eggs from chickens eating a varied diet (bugs, greens, etc) in the fresh air and sunshine do NOT compare to your standard (or even ‘designer’) grocery store egg: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/Tests-Reveal-Healthier-Eggs.aspx

    Good luck with your egg-venture! 🙂

    March 20, 2012
  4. Rachel Marley #

    I am really interested in getting some chickens. I do not know how to begin. Any advice? I am concerned about animals killing them and what to do with them in the winter.

    Thanks
    Rachel

    April 4, 2012
    • Hi Rachel! Thank you for your comment. I recommend reading this post https://farmtek.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/guide-to-raising-backyard-chickens/ as a guide to start. Keeping predators away, especially at night, is a common concern. You’ll need some type of cage or shelter that raccoons, owls, etc. cannot get into. The birds do well in the winter; they just need to be protected from wind and snow. They do not have to be heated but their water needs to be.
      Hope this helps,
      Joe Nitch – Resident Backyard Chicken Expert

      April 5, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. This workhorse will run on hardboiled eggs « Sand and Shovel Homefarm Tales
  2. The Great Eggsperiment: Take 2 | FarmTek Blog

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