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Category Archives: Poultry

Chicken molt

So your girls have stopped laying? It’s August and some of this springs batch of babies who just started laying have now some have stopped.

After the summer solstice in June the days start to get shorter and this triggers in the girls into a natural part of their yearly cycle, molt.

mōlt/

  • verb
  1. 1.(of an animal) shed old feathers, hair, or skin, or an old shell, to make way for a new growth.

“the adult birds were already molting into their winter shades of gray”

  • noun
  1. 1. a loss of plumage, skin, or hair, especially as a regular feature of an animal’s life cycle.

You may see some extra feathers on the ground and be concerned about a predator or some other stressor (which is always a concern) but more likely it is the time of year for the girls to get ready for winter.

Some chickens will molt slowly, losing only and few feathers at a time and growing in new plumage over several months. Other chickens will have a “hard Molt” meaning they lose a LOT of feather all at once and look horrible but they usually come through molt faster and will start laying faster.

What can you do? You can support this yearly time of transition with nutrition help, protection from elements, and not making fun of the poor naked girls.

Nutritionally, hens in their molt can utilize more protein, and less of the egg making support we provide the rest of the year. There are products like “feather fixer” from Nutrena, Flock raiser from Purina, Chicken Broiler from King, or turkey starter from Modesto that can serve this purpose for you depending on your needs and wants for your family.

In Southern California we are certainly not cold in August and September so if your girls start in this time period providing shade from the sun is more important than if we were in the Midwest or far North and the girls started molting later in the year. Without their feathers they could use additional warmth through the molt if there were a cold snap.

Mostly just understand that this is normal, and look forward to new pretty plumage.

Top 7 Reasons Why Chickens Belong in the City

Generally speaking, you should be able to take care of a small flock of chickens in just a few minutes each day, less time than it takes you to take your dog for a quick walk.

#1. Convenience:

Ok, let’s start with the obvious reason – you’ll have the best tasting supply of fresh eggs on hand. Not to mention the convenience, as you’ll have absolutely no need to get out of your pajamas and head to the store to make a fresh, healthy breakfast.

#2. Better for your health:
Free range eggs from your backyard have been shown to have a far greater nutritional value than commercially grown, AKA factory farmed. There are more than seven times the Vitamin A and Beta Carotene (essential for good eyesight) and almost double the Vitamin E in free range eggs (Vitamin E considered a strong anti-oxidant). When it comes to the essential fatty acid Omega 3 (which is necessary for heart health, healthy cholesterol levels and positive mental and behavioral health), the free range variety win again with an incredible 292 mg, versus a pitiful 0.033mg in factory eggs. You’ll also get less saturated fat in free range eggs.
#3. City chickens as a backyard organic exterminating service.

Chickens love to eat protein-packed insects, which works out well because they can serve as the organic pest-cleanup crew in your garden and devour ticks on your property. They also love to eat many weeds, and serve as post-harvest garden bed gleaners, potentially making your work as a gardener very, very easy.

#4. Heritage-breed & 7city chickens as an extinction-prevention task force.

Because factory-farm operations prefer pretty much the same type of high-volume laying breeds (or in the case of meat, heavy, fast-growing meat birds), the preservation of rare, heritage breeds is threatened. If we lose these beautiful breeds, we wipe out genetic material from a species, perhaps losing genes that could save the poultry industry one day if the standard production breeds fall susceptible to illness. To learn more about heritage breeds, Please check out your blog on what chickens are best for you.

#5. Urban chickens as soil builders and savers.

The health of your food is tied directly to the health of your soil. And chickens perform multiple functions that can turn parts of our boring old yards into fertile garden patches. Their natural scratching and digging tendencies serve them well and can help you create top-notch garden beds. They are expert in mixing manure with mulch to create raised beds, which allow you to grow more produce in a smaller space and use less water, which is particularly useful to urban gardeners. They also act as gasoline-free, pleasant- noise tillers, mixing the top layers of soil with compost or other mulches. (OK, I think hens sure do make cute noises, adding entertainment value for the whole family!)

#6. Urban chickens as antidepressants; your own serotonin.

Ever hear of oxytocin, the love hormone? It’s a stress-lowering chemical in your body that’s unleashed when you hug someone you love, or even pet your dog or cat. And anyone who has raised backyard chickens can probably contend the same effect holds true for hens. Believe it or not there are actually hens employed as therapy chickens! That’s something to sing or cluck about!

#7. Urban or city chickens as cheapest backyard city workers.

This aspect of keeping chickens has been studied for centuries and concludes that the most economic and politically compelling reason to keep hens is to recycle food and yard waste, therefore keeping it out of landfills as it composts into an invaluable organic soil conditioner for your garden. The idea is that you feed your chickens kitchen scraps, they poop out a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and you compost it with leaves and other untreated yard waste.

To quote one study in Belgium, one city is actually giving three laying hens to 2,000 homes in an effort to reduce landfill costs. City officials expect to recover a significant portion of the $600,000 a year the city spends on dealing with this type of household “trash.” According to Foreman, a single chicken can bio-recycle about seven pounds of food residuals in a month. If just 2,000 households raise three hens, it could divert 252 tons of waste from landfills annually.

Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers, and Local Food Producers (Good Earth Publications, 2010).

Equipment

Chicken-and-chick-equipment

We are now carrying Chicken Diapers, and Feather Guards for your chickens

It is the time of year that many birds lose a large quantity of feathers and when the new ones come in they are sensitive and can cause other flock members to peck. These feather guards are PERFECT.



Chick equipment

Poultry Feed




Flocktober


Surf & Turf




We are now carrying Chicken Diapers, and Feather Guards for your chickens

It is the time of year that many birds lose a large quantity of feathers and when the new ones come in they are sensitive and can cause other flock members to peck. These feather guards are PERFECT.


Chicken saddles for when Rooster de-feather your girls

Chicken-saddle-instructions

Anti-crow collars

Most neighbors don’t want to be woken at 5 AM by a rooster crowing. But, we love our roosters and so do our hens. Here is a do-it-yourself method of reducing the volume and frequency of roosters crowing. The Velcro strap works with the same principle as much more expensive collars. It restricts inflation of the air sack in the rooster’s neck when he crows. This is not harmful if adjusted as not to restrict normal breathing and circulation. It only restricts neck air sack inflation prior to crowing. Adjust the Velcro collar so as to leave about 3/8” or the tips of your smallest finger space between your rooster’s neck and the collar. The collar should be placed low on your rooster’s neck.


Poultry Feed Stocked at Hawthorne Country Store

Prices and availability can change at any time.

  • Layena Omega 40lb. $18.95 Purina Mills
  • Layena crumble 50LB. $18.50, 25 LB. $10.50 Purina Mills
  • Layena Pellet 50 lb. $18.50 25lb. $10.50 Purina Mills
  • Lay mash 5 lb. $4.95, 25 lb. $10.95, 50 lb. $18.25, Kruse/ Western milling
  • Homegrown layer crumble 50 lb. $16.95
  • Organic lay crumble, Nutrena 5 lb. $8.95
  • Organic Purina layer crumble or pellet 35lb. $24.95
  • Organic lay crumble 50 $28.95, 25 lb. $18.95 Modesto Milling
  • Organic lay pellet 50 $28.95, 25 lb. $18.95 Modesto Milling
  • Organic non soy layer 50 lb. Modesto Milling $29.95
  • Organic non soy non corn layer 50 lb. Modesto Milling $29.95
  • Organic Whole grain layer 50 lb. $32.50 Modesto Milling
  • Organic Layer 40 lb. $32.95 (whole seed option) Scratch and Peck
  • Pro Am Layer 50 (king) L.A. Hearne$20.95
  • Freedom Layer pellet or Crumble (non GMO) 50 lb. (king) L.A. Hearne $22.50
  • Renew Poultry Complete 20 lb. $21.50
  • Scratch 50 lb. $14.50, 5 lb. $4.95, 25 lb. $8.95, 75lb. $16.95
  • Organic scratch 50 lb. $28.95 Modesto Milling,
    35 lb. $22.95 Purina 25 lb $21.95 Scratch and Peck
  • Organic cracked corn 50 $29.95 Modesto Milling
  • Cracked corn 25 $8.95, 50 $16.50 Kruse Western Milling
  • Pro-Am show and grow 50 lb. $21.50 (king) L.A. Hearne
  • Renew Chick starter 5 lb. $12.50
  • Organic Starter crumble 35 lb. $24.95 Purina Mills
  • Organic Chick Starter Nutrena 5 lb. $8.95
  • Organic Chick Starter crumble 25 lb. $19.95, 50 lb. $32.50 Modesto Milling
  • Organic no corn no soy starter 50 lb. $32.50 Modesto Milling
  • Organic Scratch and Peck Starter 25 lb. $26.95 40 lb. $38.95
  • Start and Grow (medicated) 5 lb. $5.99 25lb. $11.50 50 $ 21.50 Purina Mills
  • Start and Grow (non-medicated) 5 lb. $5.99 25 lb. $11.50 50 $21.50 Purina
  • Freedom Starter Crumble (non GMO) 50 lb. $25.50 (King) LA Hearne
  • Chick starter Mash 25 lb. $12.50, 50lb $22.50 Kruse/Western Milling
  • Flock Raiser crumble 5lb. $6.95, 25lb. $12.95, 50 lb. $21.50 Purina
  • Flock Raiser Pellet 50lb. $21.50 Purina
  • Organic Turkey Starter 50 lb. $34.50 Modesto Milling
  • Layena Gamebird breeder 50 lb. $19.95 Purina Mills
  • Freedom Broiler (non GMO) 50 lb. (King) L.A. Hearne $23.95
  • Game Bird (Turkey) Crumble 50lb. Kruse $21.50
  • Quail Layer 25 lb. $12.95 (King) L.A. Hearne
  • El Gallo Perfecto 75 lb. Kruse $32.95
  • El Pollo Fino 50 lb. $26.95 UPP
  • Gonzalez 50 lb. Kruse $22.50
  • El Gallo Colorado 50 lb. $21.50 Star/Kelleys
  • Waterfowl Grower Maintenance 25 lb. $12.95 and
    50 lb. $20.50 pellet (King) LA Hearne
  • Waterfowl Maintenance from Mazuri (floater) 50 lb. $42.00
  • Waterfowl Layer 25 lb. (King) LA Hearne $11.50
  • Waterfowl Starter Mazuri 25 Lb. $23.95
  • Feather Fixer Nutrena (40 lb.) $19.95
  • Flock Block 25 # $14.95 (Purina mills)

Chicken Feed

Miller chicken

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