Tag Archives: Business

The future of chicken coops?

chicken coop, chickens, coop, prefabricated chicken coop, prefabricated construction, prefab, israel, peleg/burshtein, wind turbines, solar panels, renewable energy, ventilation, eco design, green design, sustainable building

If humans can have off-grid, prefabricated structures, who says livestock shouldn’t get the same eco-treatment. A recent competition held by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked for an upgrade to inefficient and polluting family-run chicken coops in Galilee and the winning design was this sleek, prefabricated, renewable energy powered chicken coop by Peleg/Burshtein Architects and landscape architect Nathan Gulman. Their winning design incorporates all the necessary functions of a chicken coop into one building, provides its own renewable energy and processes its own waste in a closed loop system.


Source: Sustainable Prefabricate Chicken Coop Generates its Own Power | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

How to Choose Fertilized Chicken Eggs

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“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched,” the old saving goes. True, you can’t be sure any given egg will produce a live chick, but you can make a pretty good guess at the hypothetical bird’s sex before the smallest crack appears in its shell. When you’re buying fertilized chicken eggs or choosing which eggs to hatch from your own flock, there’s just one simple method to keep in mind. It’s quick, easy, works for all breeds and is so reliable that we raised 23 pullets from 23 carefully chosen eggs!

Here’s the secret: If you want your brood to be mostly female, select and incubate only the most nearly oval eggs. Those with a noticeably pointed end produce cockerels. Many of the chicks-to-be you examine, of course (especially the first time you try this idea), will fall into an indeterminate range, so pick only the most clearly oval shapes if you want to hatch future layers.

Commercial breeders cull and hatch their “female” eggs because pullets bring a higher price. Therefore, a fertile batch of “straight-run” eggs bought from a big dealer is likely to contain mostly indeterminate and pointed discards and give you considerably less than a 50/50 chance of hatching female chicks. To improve the odds, choose from your own hens’ layings or ask a local chicken raiser to save his most obviously oval finds for you.

Sound hard to believe? The first time I heard of this trick, I thought someone was pulling my only-recently-rural leg. But try it — it works!
Source: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/buying-fertilized-chicken-eggs-zmaz74zhol.aspx#ixzz2Scdggvkw

Quail eggs reep numerous health benefits

The quail industry has thrived in recent years. And for people who want to make ends meet with animal farming, try raising quails for health and wealth. Quails need little water and food and lays an egg a day,.

The meat is white, tasty and healthy for consumption.  However, the eggs are by far the most important product.

British researchers say that quail egg should be pronounced a super-food, as they have an great impact on our health and even helps to fight obesity. According to nutritionists, the egg is one of the richest in good essential ingredients and we all should consume at least two eggs a day. The researchers emphasize the egg’s important role in general health protection as well as losing and maintaining body weight. Quail egg is simply, an elixir of life.

Quail eggs are considered one of the best known natural health products. Chinese medical practitioners have been using quail eggs for treatment for centuries with exceptional results. As quail eggs are slowly becoming easier to buy in the market place, more people are beginning to show interest in its uses as an active natural medicine instead of the chemical products with many side effects.

Quail eggs contain 3 or 4 times as much nutritional value as chicken eggs do, and they are 13% protein while chicken eggs are only 11% per cent. They contain nearly three times as much Vitamin B1 as chicken eggs do, and you can get double the amounts of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin A by eating quail eggs. Fertile quail eggs are also very rich in calcium and phosphrous, and you can actually obtain 5 times more potassium and iron from quail eggs than from chicken eggs.

A poultry PR Stunt

Londoners are used to pushing their way through crowds in the early-morning rush hour, but anybody crossing Putney Bridge yesterday morning may have been a little less familiar with their fellow pedestrians.

A pair of shepherds accompanied by a trusty sheep dog drove a herd of geese across the bridge over the Thames at 5.45am.

People waiting for buses stared in wonder at the feathered flock, who at one point waddled past a Premier Inn.

The geese were part of a PR and marketing stunt, and were presented to thrill tenants at Fulham Green, a luxury office development.

Will Kitchener, PR and marketing director for Fulham Green, explained the presence of the winged wanderers.

He said: “It was simply a celebration of the start of spring for our tenants. We’d told them to expect some special guests, but I don’t think they were expecting them to be of the feathered variety.”

Delighted tenants were treated to a captivating display by Tip, the sheep dog who had escorted the geese over Putney Bridge.

Will said: “Tip showed everyone his skills, and our tenants were also introduced to some two week old orphan lambs and a day old gosling. The reaction was fantastic, and we were so pleased that the weather was good – spring made a temporary appearance for our party.”

Turning into the office complex at the end of the video, the geese look remarkably unruffled by their early-morning expedition – more than can be said for the stunned passers-by.

Raising Turkeys from Poults

If you’re starting your turkey flock with day-old poults, you are probably wondering how to make sure they grow into healthy, happy adult turkeys. With some preparation and care, your baby turkeys will thrive.

Set Everything Up

Just like for baby chicks, you’ll need to set up a brooder for your turkey poults. A turkey poult brooder is just the same as one for baby chickens, so you can use these resources to design your brooder. The key is to have everything set up and warmed to 95 to 98 degrees before your poults arrive. Also similar to baby chicks, the poults will huddle under the lap if they’re too cold, or stay at the edges of the heat source if they’re too hot. So while a thermometer can be a helpful guide to temperature, especially before the poults arrive, use their behavior as your guide.

You will raise the heat lamp a few inches each week (and roughly 5 degrees lower) until the temperature is the same as the outdoors or the poults are 6 weeks old. You’ll also want to have feeders and waterers filled and placed properly. You don’t want them right under the lamp, but you also don’t want them too far from the center. Place them so that the poults can get to them easily without getting either chilled or overheated. Hanging feeders can prevent poults from standing – and pooping – in the feed or knocking it over.

Use pine shavings – never cedar – for the bottom of the brooder. Once poults are three weeks old, some farmers like to use clean sand. It can be cleaned just like cat litter and keeps the brooder dry.

Finally, make sure you have their roosts and pen ready for them to move to after they outgrow the need for the heat lamp and are ready to move to pasture.

As Soon As They Get Home

Once your poults arrive home from the feed store or from the post office, inspect each one as you remove it from the transport box. Dip its beak in water as soon as you put them into the brooder, so they learn where the water is and how to drink. Remember that especially for shipped poults, they will be stressed from the transport process. Make sure they eat and drink well for the first two weeks.

Preventing Problems

Turkey poults are particularly prone to “starving out,” which means that some poults will get pushed away from the feeder or hang back, and will actually starve to death despite food being available. Keep a close eye on poults while they’re feeding to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Overcrowding can also contribute to starving out, so make sure you have plenty of room for your poults. You’ll want at least a 10×10 space for a dozen day-old poults, and as they get bigger they will need more room.

Add a Roost

By three weeks of age, you can add a roost to your brooder. Teaching turkeys to roost early helps when they’re eventually moved to roosts later. Plus, they will sleep warmer and more comfortably.

Feed Them Properly

There are many different feeds for poultry. Medicated, nonmedicated, starter, grower – what to pick? Turkeys need high protein, more so than chickens. A gamebird or poultry starter that has around 28 percent protein works for the first 12 weeks. Medicated or not is your choice; many small growers like to use nonmedicated feed. After 12 weeks, the feed can be lowered to 20 percent, but any lower and your turkeys won’t grow as big as they could.

Move Them Outside

As your poults grow, you will need to make the brooder bigger so they aren’t crowded. As mentioned above, each week you will raise the lamp and lower the temperature about five degrees. Or, you could switch to lower-wattage bulbs as they grow. Much like vegetables, you will need to “harden off” your turkey poults by gradually exposing them to outside temperatures. By three weeks, they can have access to an enclosed “sun porch” on nice days – but keep them inside on rainy or cold days.

Make sure they are fully feathered and at least eight weeks old before moving poults to their new outdoor housing. You can give them access to outdoors but still provide the lamp at night for a week or two, and then finally move them to their new, grown-up turkey roosts and pen. Check on them nightly for a few days after the transition. Make sure they don’t get damp or chilled.

Camouflaged Quail Eggs Hide in Plain Sight

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A run-of-the-mill Japanese quail egg looks like it’s been splattered with ink. Some quail hens lay beige eggs with just a few tiny speckles. Others have dark hefty blots. But the birds always lay them on the ground where, theoretically, they’re vulnerable to predators. To see if quail used the natural landscape to camouflage their eggs, researchers set up a small pen with patches of ground covered in sand of different colors—white, beige, red-brown, and black. After photographing 179 eggs laid by quail (above and in high-resolution), the team used a computer program to detect the outlines of the eggs, then moved the eggs to alternative backgrounds to compare detection. The quail knew which backgrounds camouflaged their eggs best against the eyes of predators, the team reports today in Current Biology, laying the lightly spotted eggs on light backgrounds and the heavily spotted eggs on dark backgrounds. The quail even chose the absolute best of the four options about half the time, showing that these bird brains are capable of some serious strategy.

Source: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/scienceshot-camouflaged-quail-eg.html

The Happy Chick Company

The Happy Chick Company Logo

Here at the Natural Poultry Farming Guide. we never thought we would find another group of people as potty about poultry and chuffed with their chickens as we are… but then we discovered the happy chick company.

They specialise in providing a complete chick hatching experience for nurseries, schools and care/retirement homes – an educational, engaging and thrilling experience which, importantly for us, ensures all chicks are safely rehomed afterwards.

Chick Hatching at Schools

So what do schools and retirement homes in these areas have to look forward to?

The hatching experience begins early in the week when the delivery is made.  The team, who know everything there is to know about chicks, sets up the incubator which ensures temperature and humidity levels are closely controlled – all the time taking great care to explain everything. Detailed information and instructions are left behind and further questions can be answered by the advice line, available 7 days a week, 7am until 10pm.

Shortly after delivery, expectant “mother hens” will see signs that their chick is on the way. They will see the eggs wobble and may even hear cheeping coming from inside the egg.  The happy chick company suggests that you make your own clucking noises at the egg – you may feel silly but it really does work and you may just hear your chick cheep back at you.

Chick Hatching at Retirement HomesChicks can be expected to hatch by the Thursday evening.  Once dry and fluffy, the chicks are transferred to a brooder box. Again, the happy chick company provides all the equipment the chicks need, leaving students or residents free to enjoy watching the chicks and their antics.

A week later, the happy chick company team returns to collect the equipment and the chicks… Here we should issue a warning. Chickens are addictive! So it can be a very sad moment for everyone involved.  In many cases, individuals choose to adopt their chicks permanently. In these circumstances the happy chick company first ensures the ‘adoptive parent’ is suitable and then provides an aftercare support service. All chicks that are not adopted in this way are rehomed.