Egg producing farms (except for the certified organic free-range farms) do the following:
- Use chemically altered hormone injected feeds to increase egg production.
- Cram as many chickens as possible into cages stacked on top of more cages, towering them within usually about 8 chickens crammed into a tiny little cage, fighting over feed and dropping eggs down below to the collection area.
- They de-beak the chickens so they don’t kill each other crammed into small areas. The beak is the most sensitive part of a chicken, and they are not even anesthetized to add insult to injury (literally)
- Male chicks are GRINDED ALIVE because they are not useful. In one factory alone, 150,000 male chicks are killed daily. Please note, the following video is extremely graphic and very hard to watch. I don’t expect many people to click play, I had to debate on clicking it myself for 10 minutes and then I just cried.
- So before you pick up another carton of eggs for the cheapest price at the grocery store, look for certified organic free-range ones first, and as soon as possible check around locally (try craigslist if you must) and look for someone who has home free-range chicks. Go to their place, make sure you can see how they raise them and care for their chicks.
Okay, major props out to my husband (aka the Dear Astronomer guy)!
We went to Home Depot last night for the supplies and Ray ended up putting the chicky bunker together by himself because it was late and I needed to go to bed before my overnight shift. I went to bed at 8pm, woke up 2 hours later and he was finishing it. WOW! No ladies, you can’t have him, he’s mine!
Pics are below along with laundry list of supplies we used. Unfortunately, the cull wood bin was pretty much bone empty so we ended up having to get new lumber. If I had waited a couple days I could have gotten the pieces, but I kinda had to light a fire under our heiny’s because the chicks are already paid for and waiting.
So, here’s what we used:
- A 4x4x10 untreated wood board, cut down into five 2-ft sections. (for the posts that connect bottom to top)
- Two 2x6x10 untreated wood boards, cut down into a 2 ft sections (for sides) and a couple 3 ft sections. (for the long front/back pieces)
- 3 rolls of 24x5ft chicken wire- The kind that are SMALL squares so the chicks can’t get their heads stuck in it since they’re so small right now.
- Recycled rubber mat (for the bottom).
- Spare thick particle boards for the sides (for strength)
- Misc wood from our lumber stack (lid, etc.)
- Wood screws ( 2 inch)
This was all picked up at Home Depot. Rubber mat was Ray’s genius idea and he found it in the garden section. I was worried about using particle board as the base and it getting saturated and smelly and he came up with the rubber mat plan. Woot, go honey!
Sorry about the orange pics, I guess he doesn’t have a flash on his phone camera!
I have some really great news! I found pretty much everything I am needing at one place, including, more than likely, my new baby chicks! Gotta clear it 100% with the spouse though. Turns out, I actually need to get them now if I plan on getting them in the coop in March/April. (This will give them enough time to adjust to outdoor life without over-heating from our broiling sun.)
So here they are!!!
These little girls are black sex-links. They’re a cross breed between 2 of the best breeds for chickens, Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. They’re excellent layers as well.
We have a feed store down the road from us that just opened up that has everything, and is armed with one mightily chicken-smart lady. They also have my Diatomaceous Earth that I was looking for but couldn’t find anywhere, and CHEAPER than anywhere I saw online!
My hitch right now, the only reason I didn’t bring them home today is finding the right container for them. I thought my spare rabbit cage might be big enough, but when I looked at it again I realized I underestimated… I don’t want to spend 150 bucks on the huge water trough bins, especially since it wouldn’t have a lid to keep my satanic cat from jumping in and going after the chicks… so I’m completely baffled on what to do… I’ll probably figure that out yet today and post if I do.
If I do end up getting some of these guys, I will be holding a naming contest for the chickens. Ray and I get to name one each, but I’m going to ask everyone to pitch in ideas for names and then run a contest. The top names will win.
Sincerely, One Excited Soon to be Chicky Mom
So tonight, while trying to let my stomach digest the food I ate earlier, I did some research on keeping chicken coops cleaner and came across a product called Diatomaceous Earth, which is not only supposed to be incredible for chicken coops, but it’s good for digestion in livestock & humans, and is an incredible bug controller for inside and outside areas. (Think gardens, stalls, around your floorboards, etc.) Please note, this is about FOOD GRADE DE. There is a difference between that and others!
I heard about this once before, probably during a natural resources class, but somehow didn’t catch what it was about.
So here’s a little blurb I found on Diatomitecananda.com
Diatomaceous earth (DE) Fossil Shell Flour has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residues, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Pyrethroid insecticide residues probably also bind to diatomaceous earth, since pyrethrins from Chrysanthemum flowers bind to and are stabilized by this material. The only brand of pure DE currently recommended is from Perma Guard. Perma Guard’s Fossil Shell Flour has been approved by the FDA (as a 2% by dry weight food additive, as an anti-caking agent, or as a grain storage additive).
It’s something I will be looking into for a lot of uses around the ranch. It eliminates parasites and worms in horses (and humans!), is a major drying agent for chicken poop, helps control flies (which with 4 horses on the property, we have a LOT.). My only concern is this. If it kills bugs, isn’t that one of the things chickens prefer to eat?
I’ve got more research to view on it but it’s definitely worthy of interest.