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Everything I wrote about chickens in 2013

We had some highs and lows with the chickens this year!

We started off with our best hatch ever (34 from 48!), followed by me shutting the cage before the babies went home and about 15 of them were eaten by something during the night. And most of the rest of them died of a mystery illness, possibly paralysis ticks, we ended up with 3 roosters for the freezer, one Rhode Island Red rooster (who only survived the masacre because he was hiding in a hay bale because the other chickens picked on him, but he's better than nothing for breeding!) and 2 hens.

If you're interested in incubating eggs: Incubating chicken eggs

Caring for chicks that you hatch or buy: Caring for young chicks - update

If you're going to buy full-grown chickens:  Buying new chickens

And if you're not sure what you ended up with: Determining the gender of young chickens

Solving other chicken problems:
The best chicken book I’ve ever read

We hatch extra chicks with the intention of eating the roosters, here's how to butcher them:

And how to water them:
Using chicken nipples

What to keep the chickens in (if you want to use a chicken tractor, that is):

Chicken tractor guest post

If its all starting to sound complicated, here's some advice from bloggers who keep chickens (and other poultry):

Getting started with chickens - NZ Eco Chick

Getting started with chickens - Gavin Webber

Getting started with chickens - Ohio Farmgirl

Getting started with Chickens - a series of interv...

Getting stared with chickens - summing up *giveawa...

Getting started with chickens - Linda from Greenha...

Getting started with chickens - Sustainaburbia

Getting started with chickens - Tanya from Lovely ...

And if you've mastered chickens, its time to try guinea fowl, we've had some crazy times with them this year.  We started with 10, Cheryl ate 1 early on, and then 2 more disappeared one night when they all refused to go back into their tractor, then another one disappeared during the day, so we are down to 6, but have 2 hens, so now have the incubator full of guinea eggs.....

Guinea fowl keets

Free range guinea fowl! 

How were your chickens (and other poultry) in 2013?  What are your plans for 2014?

By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the chicken tractor ebook blog.  Or you can get it directly from my shop on Etsy (.pdf format), or Amazon Kindle or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at}

What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.

Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor


  1. I didn't realise you lost most of your babies to illness? Do you give your birds Sulpha 3 or Sulpha D? I find that this keeps disease and illness at bay, I give it to my little ones in their water as a maintenance measure until they are about 3 months old, and then intermittently if I find that they are looking a bit poorly at any stage.

  2. Great compilation of resources in one spot! Thanks for the list - will bookmark and come back to do some serious chicken reading!

  3. That's a great year of progress. It's nice to be able to look back at old posts and see how far you have come. Merry Christmas xx

  4. Awesome posts, Farmer Liz! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you back again today!


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