Rural Lifestyle Blog

Life in Rural America

Trying to raise chickens Part 2

Raising chickensIf you have not read part 1 of this raising chickens series, please do so. Its been over 20 years since I have owned chickens, so this is kind of a new venture as I have fourteen a lot over the past 20+ years.

Week 1 – my wife and I bought 5 chicks. Within the first few days 2 of the chicks died. One of the chicks looked small and weak from the first day. One chick died on day one, second chick died on day 3.

Week 2 – on March 3, 2012 my wife and I went to a local feed store to buy some Production reds. When my wife and i arrived at the store, we were told they had sold the last of the Production Reds just a few minutes before we arrived.

After talking about what we should do, my wife and I decided to go to Farmers Feed on HWY 96 north of Jasper, Texas.

Farmers Feed did not have any Production Reds, but they did have several different types of chickens.  My wife and I decided to buy 2 of each type of chicken, of a total of 6 chicks.  Two of the chicks are Barred Rocks. the other 4 chicks, I can not remember the type. I will call the feed store Monday morning and ask what kind they are selling.

When my wife and I bought the first set of chicks we also bought a chicken feeder and waterer. The problem is, the ones we bought were designed for water and not feed. During the past week I had to keep shaking the one with the feed so the chicken feed would go through the hole.

While my wife and I were buying the new chicks we bought a chicken feeder. The unit we bought has 8 holes that are about 1 – 1 1/4 inch in diameter. Using a pint jar, the whole pint jar filled up feed dispenser.

After doing so research on the internet, I found out that having chicks on a slippery surface like newspaper can deform the chicks legs. The condition is called “straddle leg”. Straddle leg is when the chicks legs go to side instead and the chick might have difficulty standing.

To help prevent the chicks from developing straddle leg, an old towel was laid down in the bottom of the box. The towel provides a non-slip surface for the chicks to stand on.

One thing with the newspapers, is that they are easy to replace. When it came time to put down new papers down, the food and water was moved out of the tub, the heat lamp was moved out of the tub, the top layer of newspaper was rolled up and thrown in the garbage. New papers were laid in place, food, water and heat lamp were put back in the tub.

24 hours after buying the new chicks and everything is going good.

During a long term SHTF survival situation there are going to be two major problems with food:

Problem 1 – finding fresh food. Stockpiling freeze dried food and having food stored in mylar bags is fine and dandy. But nothing can replace fresh food.

Problem 2 – eating a balanced diet. There is an old saying “man can not live on bread alone”. During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, man can not live off rice stored in mylar bags alone.

Raising chickens not only provides my family with a source of fresh eggs, but can also provide my family with a source of protein during a SHTF survival situation. Besides being able to eat the eggs, eggs would also make an excellent barter item post SHTF.

When it comes time to build the coop, I am hoping to build the coop wide enough that it will fit on a lowboy trailer. If my family and I have to leave our home and go to our remote camp, the plans are to load the chicken coop on a 20 foot lowboy trailer then head to the Bug Out Location.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock
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