Useful Information on Chicken Keeping
So, what do you need to get started?
- Coop + run – a set-up similar to the Eglu (omlet.us). Or for more birds, and made in Canada, check out this website in Vancouver: Duncan’s Backyard Henhouses.
- Layers’ Mash (preferably organic). Have it available as needed along with water on demand. It comes in 25 kg. bags manufactured by Homestead Organics. Homestead Organics is a local Ottawa area company committed to sustainable organic agriculture). The girls love the feed. Important – keep the grain in a sealed container. I bought an extra green bin from the City, which perfectly fits the contents of a 25 kg. bag.
- On a daily basis, fresh food and water is added, the eggs are collected and the droppings tray is emptied into the composter. Takes very little time.
- Last, but not least, you need hens. They will begin laying at about 6 months of age and you could order them at that age. Here are some options:
- Order from any feed store. But you will not be able to get heritage breeds of hens. So, even better…
- Order from Cirrus Hill Farm in Meaford, ON. http://cirrushillfarm.ca. Here you could get true heritage breeds of chicks, and equally important, some great education and tips from a true expert.
- For exotic breeds, order from Performance Poultry in Prince Edward County.
- For hens and awesome chicken-keeping supplies: Pullets Plus Inc.
- Order directly from a hatchery: Frey’s Hatchery in St. Jacobs, Bonnie’s Chick Hatchery in Elmira.
- Order directly from a small-scale farmer hatching their own eggs (my favourite option).
- Blue Haven Farm – John and Marcia Stevers