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Sometimes when you're starting out - or even when you've been raising chickens for a long time - it can feel a little overwhelming...
What they should eat, what they shouldn't eat, what kind of coop should they live in, how to know when they're poorly sick, how to keep them warm - or cool, how to make sure they lay the most nutritious eggs ... eeeek!
You're attracted to the thought of a more natural way of living, even if you live in an urban area.
You like to give your family healthy, unprocessed food, and you want to know where it's come from.
You want to be sure that the information you're reading is accurate and based on properly researched studies - not just copied from some random blog.
You'd like your children to learn a sense of responsibility for other living things, and for the food they will eat in their future.
You have a busy, stressful, demanding life, and you'd like to add some quiet, quality de-stressing parts to it.
You like chickens. You don't know why - they just seem entertaining - and raising some hens in your backyard or garden might be fun!
You just know that when you do have your own flock, you'll be talking about them as "my girls" within no time.
You don't or can't have your own "girls" but you dream that some day, you will - and in the meantime, you'd like to learn.
I'm celebrating right along with you - because you've come to the place where happy chickens thrive!
If you've not kept chickens before, the best place to start is to really examine whether they'd be a good fit for you and for your family - including finding out whether the place where you live will allow you to keep them!
From then on, preparation is the key. Here are some pages which will help develop your knowledge.
Most people who keep chickens at some point decide they want to incubate and hatch their own.
This is probably what I'd call my particular area of expertise. I've been incubating and hatching chicks for over ten years now. I've been through it all - from the amazing sight of a chick developing in the egg, to watching it hatch 21 (or more) days later.
And the difficult parts, too. Dealing with weak and sick chicks, and sometimes having to cull those whose quality of life is very poor and never going to improve.
If raising your own from chicks is something you're interested in, you'll find these articles are a good place to start.
There's a lot to get to grips with when you first decide to keep chickens. A safe place for them to sleep, eat and exercise. How to make sure they're getting the right nutrients. How to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. How to spot when they'e unwell and what to do about it...
Everything you'll find in these pages is based on my extensive reading and research, and has been tried and tested with my own flock. I keep away from "gossip" and stick to established facts so that you can be sure your chickens will be safe, too.
And should you want even more detail than I give, you'll be able to confirm my findings and read around subjects, too. I provide a list of respected sources at the end of all my informational articles.
Knowing what food and treats are good for chickens can be confusing and overwhelming at first.
These articles will lead you through the best food for chickens of all ages, and suggest a wide range of natural treats available to keep your flock healthy all year round.
Generally speaking, chickens bring us much greater relief from stress than problems. But every so often, something comes along that we need to be able to deal with.
Better to be prepared well in advance rather than panic when it happens.
These pages will help get you started - and you'll find links on them to get to other pages which may be giving you a headache.
It's one of the most amazing benefits of keeping backyard chickens - having beautiful, nutritious, fresh eggs every single day.
And the best part? You know exactly what's gone into them to keep them naturally healthy!
Eggs used to get a bad press - accused of building high cholesterol levels. But not any more - it's now recognised that this research was faulty - and backyard chicken eggs are far more nutritious than commercially produced.
So my eggy pages cover all that information, and more: keeping hens healthy to get the most nutritious eggs, egg nutrition, storage, health benefits and, of course, some of my favourite recipes.
I also have pages where you can share stories of your own flock. I love hearing all about them, so if you'd like to share, I'd be delighted!
And if you'd like to keep up to date with all the information here, with my courses and with information from the wider world of chicken-keeping, you'll want to sign up for my newsletter.
Lots of spammy product suggestions. I endorse something either because I have used it myself and love it, or I know someone I respect, who has. I recommend only items which I know will be of use to you and your flock.
A place where harm is done to chickens. This is an important one to me. This site is about raising happy chickens. I don't talk about killing our girls and I don't talk about eating them - because I don't. If you want a place that goes into details like that, that's fine - there are loads around the internet.
A place where you're afraid to ask a question because you think it's too silly. There are no silly questions. When it comes to keeping our girls happy, everything's important. I asked lots of basic questions when I first started. In fact sometimes I was so clueless I didn't even know what to ask.
A place of know-it-all experts. My chickens are the experts, and they teach me. I read books and research papers which teach me things, and I take courses whenever I find one. I play an active part in forums and talk to people I live near, who have been raising their own hens for generations. I find out what works for others, then I try it out and I let you know what worked - and whether it might work for you.
In case you're wondering what my credentials are to be able to give you good information about how to incubate, brood and raise chickens, I've written a page all about how I got to this point.
It's not a story of a country girl born and bred - far from it. I was born and raised in Liverpool, England - and there aren't many chickens there!
What it will show is that anyone can learn how to look after chickens - and have fun doing it. My aim is to use all the knowledge I've learned over my years of keeping a flock of chickens, and share it with you to so that you avoid the mistakes I made and enjoy all the benefits.
Click on the pic to go to that page.
I also have a page about what it's like raising chickens in Italy, where I live now. Take a look!
And another about when I went to Prince Charles' home to learn how he keeps his large flock of chickens. It's funny where chickens can lead you...
And don't forget to join me VTG Red/Pink, White, Blue Heart Table Runner ~52”x12” + Fringe and over here on Facebook.