Maximizing Happiness with Hen-Raised Chicks


Hen and Chicks Closeup 

It was a visit to a small organic farm high in the Yatsugatake Mountains in central Japan that opened my eyes to how incredible eggs can be. Our professor had taken a group of us students to visit the farm to learn about issues facing farmers in Japan. On this unconventional farm, they raised pigs outdoors in tall grass so thick you couldn’t see the pigs. You could hear them rutting around, and the farmer showed us the deep ruts they dug with their snouts.

They also had chickens which roamed around freely. During our discussion, the farmer served us some of the eggs, and we were shocked at how brilliant their yolks and firm their whites were. The taste of the eggs was so intense that we couldn’t stop talking about them.

That was back in 1981. Ten years ago, my husband and I moved to the country, and I finally had a place to raise chickens. I started raising chickens nine years ago. I didn’t think anything of buying hatchery chicks and raising them. I always wondered why they peeped so much. I kept them nice and warm with plenty of food and water.

In 2009, one of the Buff Orpington pullet chicks I purchased grew up to be a rooster. We named him Billy, and he set in motion a chain of events that dramatically changed how I raise chickens, and my understanding of these remarkable birds.

Lessons Learned from Hen-Raised Chicks

In 2010 when we came home from a vacation, Madeleine, one of the Barred Rock hens was missing. We looked all over for her, but couldn’t find her. We were sad, thinking that a coyote or eagle had nabbed her.

6/19/2015 3:18:17 PM

I was able to experience last year one of my hens raising her own chicks. It was an eye opener. The babies looked to her for everything and she pranced around with her chest out and watched over them constantly, finding them the tastiest morsels. I know now why they call an overprotective mom a 'mother hen.' I can't wait to have another hen go broody. :)

5/27/2015 6:40:42 PM

Thank you i always said that chicks are more calm and better when raised by their mothers

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