From coops to schools to books, lots of activity going on.
Greetings from Chicken Whisperer Farm! There have been some exciting things happening on the farm the past few weeks. First, our 45 Hendrix Bovans Brown pullets from Westwind Farms in Ovid, New York started laying at 17 weeks of age. Yep, right in the middle of winter with the short days and cold temperatures.
That was really no surprise because the Hendrix Bovans Brown pullets we raised last spring started laying at 16 weeks of age. Why? Well, the genetics of the breed is quite impressive, but we only feed our flocks nutritionally-balanced starter, grower, and layer feed.
We feed no treats whatsoever—that would just dilute all the nutrition from the nutritionally-balanced feed.
Second, we received a brand-new coop to test out and review from Rita Marie’s Chicken Coops. We chose the Dutch Style 5x8 coop. It was delivered on a semi-truck, and the operator placed the coop exactly where we wanted it on our farm.
We leveled it up, added some odor control shavings we happen to be testing for a client, and then added our 15 Hendrix Bovans Brown pullets. We kept the pullets in the coop with food and water for five days straight to get them to realize that was home, and it worked perfectly. On the sixth day we let them out, and all 15 returned to the coop at dusk.
We are really enjoying our new Rita Marie’s chicken coop.
Third, ever since we moved to our new farm, we have been receiving, testing, and reviewing more products than anyone in the industry. I like to say that we really live on a research farm because a week hardly passes that we don’t receive something to test and review. I’m very excited because two products we have been testing for months now are finally coming to market this spring!
The first product is called Chicken Delyte. It’s a supplement developed by Phytobiotics, a global, twenty-year-old nutrition company based in Germany. Their product includes prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and electrolytes. It’s easy to use, just by adding one level scoop per gallon of water, or two scoops per gallon during stressful times like during the upcoming hot summer months. If you give treats to your flock, diluting the nutrition they should be getting from their nutritionally-balanced feed, and Chicken Delyte can make up for some of this loss. Not to mention, during the hot summer months, your flock will drink more and eat less, so again Chicken Delyte can make up for some nutritional loss in this situation, too.
The second product is called Chick Fresh, and it’s an odor control spray for coops and brooders. I really think users are going to see a huge difference using this product in their brooders because not only will it do a good job controlling the odor, but will also reduce the dust that comes along with brooding baby chicks.
Once poultry owners see how well it works in their brooders, I have no doubt they will continue to use the product in their coops. Not only did I find it did a great job controlling odor, but it has a really nice botanical scent.
Going to school
Fourth, in just two weeks, the Chicken Whisperer Farm School will welcome its first students. There will be a multitude of different classes for all age groups from three to 14 years of age. The main class this spring will be a poultry class for children age seven to 14, which will of course include both hands-on and classroom education.
Kids will learn everything from hatch to processing. There will also be a gardening class for kids age five to 10, and a class called Story Book Farm where younger children, three- to five-year-olds, will be read a farming-related children’s book, and then get their hands dirty planting seeds, hatching butterflies, searching for ladybugs, and other fun farm activities.
Hear the printing press
And finally, my third book, The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Zero-Waste Chicken Keeping is officially finished, and in the hands of my publisher. In the next few weeks, I should receive a preliminary copy to make any last changes and corrections before it goes to print. You can preorder the book on Amazon. I’ll keep everyone posted.
It should be a very busy, yet exciting spring here on the farm, and it’s my wish that you, too, will have a very fun and productive spring enjoying the flocks in your backyards.
Until Next Time,
Power to the Poultry!
Andy G. Schneider aka
The Chicken Whisperer