My hens in urban garden.

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Hello my cabbages,

Do you remember my challenge? Eat at least one food a day fresh-dry or frozen from my garden. 
For the freshest year is almost done, I just adopted three laying pullets , two of estaires ”  Dada and Hortensia  ” and a sussex ”  Rillette “. My children have chosen the names and will soon choose how to eat tomorrow’s egg, boiled, hard, mollé or raw in the hair .

If like me you want to get started, some good things to know before : 
So let the chickens between them, no cock if you want to avoid eating an omelette chicks. 
Look after their habitat, 10m2 of external surface at least , a henhouse sheltered from the wind but where the air must circulate without forgetting the light. (note Thibaut: for those who wonder if we can have chickens in a very small garden, here is the answer.) 
No need to buy a chicken coop kit 400 euros, with a lot of good boards can be there arrive :

Feed them like queens , they love seeds of all kinds, and will reduce almost all of your waste.We often find huge bags in the trade, personally I take the mixture for turtledoves because Dada, Hortensia and Rillette do not eat hard corn … 
Remember to give them fresh water at will, straw for their room and the sand for their bathroom, they need to get rid of any parasites.

The cycle of laying

A good laying hen can deliver up to 300 eggs a year!

However it is not the factory to lay – like those piled up in a cage with light and heating … It is quickly realized that a hen in freedom can brood 28 days even a plastic lure (by the way it is very important to have one to tell them where to lay , they miss a little later in the ideas …) 
They can also lose a good part of their feathers before winter and turn into supermarket chicken on legs time to redo their plumage. So there is a little less eggs in winter.

How to recognize a fresh egg?

floating egg is an expired egg , if it flows it is good and at the slightest doubt … trust your sense of smell! 
I note in pencil the date of egg laying knowing that it must be consumed within 28 days.

Chicken diseases

To increase the resistance of chickens to possible internal parasites I learned that we can give them diatomaceous earth food – it’s crushed rock – 2 grams per hen and per day (I not yet needed to do this). 
If you ever start to see a crop double volume, a small massage will be very effective to pass the overflow, yes it’s weird at first it looks a bit like an anti-stress ball to the touch (normal is filled of seeds), I lived it!

The life expectancy of chickens.

hen can live for about 12 years , but she is in menopause between 7 and 9 years old. 
For the heartless so you can eat it when it will not spawn and for those who really love animals …

NB: I had the experience, chicken seeds can also attract rats  ! In this case either you have a Gothic teen and it’s a gift, or you can finally take out old grandpa’s rifle!

* Editor’s Note to the Maréchaussée: we do not absolutely support the concealment of firearms for the purpose of deratting, the remarks in this article are the sole responsibility of their author! *

 “For trying several rat traps I recommend this one, the thing is that the rat is trapped but alive, it only remains to paint in white and find the teen to whom to offer it. 
I quickly understood that these adorable critters came out of the gutter to go to seed chickens, so I placed the trap directly at the exit of the gutter and no problem! “

Have fun !

Dr. Kimberly Seltzer

Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley Research Assistant, MIT

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