I went to Focus on Farming again this year, and enjoyed it, as usual. Sometimes there is a session where no class jumps out at me as a “must hear,” so I just randomly pick something, and end up finding it really interesting. The first one of these was a class called Locally Sourced Grains for Poultry Production. It was taught by James Hermes, Extension Poultry specialist at OSU. In fact, he’s the only Extension Poultry Specialist in the West; and the last one hired since the ‘80s.

(more…)

I haven’t raised any poultry in  a long while, it was one of the many extras that had to go while I was working in Seattle. My duck population is low, from attrition and butchering all the males. So I loaded up the incubator with a big batch of eggs.

(more…)

I was delighted this spring to learn that our nearby Cenex store would be the keeper of a new set of rental poultry processing equipment, which is funded by the Northwest Ag Business Center. There was a set up at a Mount Vernon feed store, but the drive was far enough that I never bothered to rent it. This new development gave me no excuse to procrastinate any longer on butchering some roosters and drakes I had that were just standing around eating too much food.

I hate butchering poultry, it’s the plucking of smelly birds that I find the most distasteful. Plus, I’m not fast at it, so it’s so much work, and the whole time I keep thinking I can buy a chicken at the grocery store for five bucks. The equipment makes it a lot easier.

(more…)

It was bound to happen. I got this question from one of my main egg customers recently. Does your chicken feed contain soy? I have been anticipating it for a while, because soy has been getting bad press lately; so naturally people start to think, if soy might be bad for me, it might also be bad for chickens, and then maybe that would make their eggs bad for me. Or maybe “bad soy stuff” will somehow make it into the eggs. 

(more…)

I have a huge problem with soft shells in my laying chickens. My ducks have bulletproof, hard and thick shells. They eat the same feed, a layer pellet. Though a friend once told me she loves the thin chicken shells because they are so easy to crack, I do not love them because they are fragile and they don’t last very long in the fridge.

(more…)