Chicken Feed Infographic


Home to Roost apologizes for the radio silence lately. We’re in the middle of a busy season.

Here’s a fun infographic on what to feed your chickens!

Note: This graphic is NOT suggesting HOW MUCH of these items to feed. The bulk of the diet should ALWAYS be a commercial layer ration, unless you are completely confident of your feed-formulating abilities and can provide the exact percentages of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed for healthy birds.

 

 

Winterizing Your Chickens


If you got chicks this spring, you probably asked the question, “How do I take care of the hens over the winter?” Bringing them into the house is not a great idea, and unlike dogs, chickens generally aren’t given to wearing sweaters and booties. Nor are they given to fluid replacement.

Here are some tips for helping your chickens ride out the winter!

  • Move your coop to an area out of the wind. You can also cover it with a tarp or heavy-duty plastic to prevent drafts – but be sure the coop is not airtight – moisture needs to escape!
  • Minimize moisture in the coop. Moisture leads to frostbite. It’s more important to have a dry coop than a warm coop.
  • Provide lots of bedding or straw. Bedding should be dry and fluffy so that it traps the heat.
  • Stack strawbales around the run to hold in the heat and prevent snow from blowing in.
  • A heat lamp is optional. Beware of fire hazards, especially with the dry bedding, and use a red, rather than white, bulb.
  • If you want your hens to continue laying during the winter, supplement white light in the morning (not evening) so that the hens get 14 hours of light. You can also let their bodies rest and give them the winter off from laying.
  • Make sure they have fresh, unfrozen water and give them more food – their bodies need it to stay warm. You can keep two waterers – one in the house and one outside – and swap them out as the outside one freezes.
  • Use Vaseline on combs and wattles to keep them from freezing.
  • Provide wide roosts that allow the down feathers on their bellies to cover their feet.
  • If your hens run in the snow, watch feet for signs of frostbite – they will look swollen and puffy. They might become infected, and the chicken could lose toes or the whole foot.
  • Provide extra protein for the birds during the winter months. A handful of dry cat (not dog) food will give an extra protein boost.
  • You can provide a handful of scratch grain in the evening, before they head to the roost for the night. This will help keep their metabolism going during the night.
  • Provide a head of cabbage, hung from a string or chain to keep them engaged and prevent pecking.

Contact Home to Roost if you’d like an in-home winterizing consultation!

Chicken health class – Last chance! 


We need just a few more folks in order to run the chicken health class this Thursday, Nov. 13. Join us and bring a friend! Note the fall discount code.


Urban Chicken Health Care

Thursday November 13, 2014, 6PM-8:30PM

Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Cost: $35 This is an *advanced workshop* for chicken keepers who are already experienced in basic care, and who want to advance their knowledge and skills. Developed and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, the workshop will cover prevention, basic troubleshooting, and care for common chicken health issues and injuries.

More info and registration is on our website. There’s a 10% off discount on all of our fall classes at the Farm: use the code “WB2014FALL” during checkout to get your discount. You can see our full list of classes at http://www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

REMINDER to Register for the Backyard Chicken Classes


REGISTER NOW for Angelic Organics Learning Center’s workshops for keepers of backyard chickens this fall.

1) Basic Backyard Chicken Care

Saturday November 8, 2014, 1:30PM-4:30PM

Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Cost: $35 Offered by Angelic Organics Learning Center and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, who calls it “the Cadillac of backyard chicken workshops.”

2) Urban Chicken Health Care

Thursday November 13, 2014, 6PM-8:30PM

Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Cost: $35 This is an *advanced workshop* for chicken keepers who are already experienced in basic care, and who want to advance their knowledge and skills. Developed and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, the workshop will cover prevention, basic troubleshooting, and care for common chicken health issues and injuries.

Fall Workshops for Backyard Chicken Keepers


REGISTER NOW for Angelic Organics Learning Center’s workshops for keepers of backyard chickens this fall.

1) Basic Backyard Chicken Care

Saturday November 8, 2014, 1:30PM-4:30PM

Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Cost: $35 Offered by Angelic Organics Learning Center and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, who calls it “the Cadillac of backyard chicken workshops.”

2) Urban Chicken Health Care

Thursday November 13, 2014, 6PM-8:30PM

Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Cost: $35 This is an *advanced workshop* for chicken keepers who are already experienced in basic care, and who want to advance their knowledge and skills. Developed and taught by Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consultant Jen Murtoff, the workshop will cover prevention, basic troubleshooting, and care for common chicken health issues and injuries.

3) Chicken Butchery

Sunday, November 9, 2014,  1PM-4PM

At our rural learning center at Angelic Organics farm in Caledonia, IL (about 90 minutes west of Chicago)

Cost  $65 Although keeping chickens for the purpose of slaughtering for food is not legal within Chicago city limits, you can learn to slaughter a chicken humanely, whether to eat or because it’s ailing or injured.

More info and registration is on our website. There’s a 10% off discount on all of our fall classes at the Farm: use the code “WB2014FALL” during checkout to get your discount. You can see our full list of classes at http://www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Groundfire Pictures Covers Chickens and the Chicken Consultant


After talking to Anne Ford about her piece on me in the Chicago Reader, Charlie Simokaitis of Groundfire Pictures contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to allow him and his partner Jason Creps to create a short film segment on my work with chickens.

He wanted to feature exotic chickens, and Steve English and Ryan Steinbach’s ornamental chicken haven in Beverly came to mind. After doing some interviewing and filming at my home (including my international chicken collection!), we moved to Steve and Ryan’s place for the real stars!

The resulting video is a masterpiece! Enjoy the gallery of behind-the-scenes shots, too!

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Windy City Coop Tour Pictures


Just for fun, here are the pictures from the house I was stationed at on this year’s coop tour! Goats, chickens, ducks, quail–all in the city limits.

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