1 Twice a day, Phurba tends to the chickens, giving them their meal of cracked corn. On this day, he also brought a special treat - two flats of wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is a good source of potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and E.
2 Chickens love wheatgrass. And, it's great to give to them during times when fresh grass is not available.
3 Offering chickens sprouted seeds is a more digestible option. After sprouting, a grain becomes 40 to 50-percent more digestible to the bird.
4 As long as the wheatgrass is acquired from a reputable source, so it's fresh and not treated in any way, it's a very good supplement.
5 As soon as the wheatgrass was put down, the chickens began feasting. During their morning feeding, they are also given a variety of fruit and vegetable scraps.
6 Once a week, all four of the coops are completely cleaned and all the wood shavings are refreshed. With four coops housing more than one-hundred chickens, it's very important to keep their environments as clean and as dry as possible.
7 The old wood shavings are removed from each coop and new shavings are put down. Wood shavings are also replaced in each nesting box for the mother hens.
8 On a daily basis, all the water dishes and containers are washed and filled with fresh, clean water.
9 The indoor, galvanized watering cans are also washed and refilled.
10 These watering cans are kept in each coop on top of heated metal water bases to keep the water from freezing. It is important to ensure chickens always have access to fresh water.
11 Inside the coop, hens are given an organic layer feed. This pelleted food is designed to provide the necessary nutrients, such as protein and calcium, to aid chickens in laying good, healthy eggs.
12 The eggs vary in color and size - look at the pretty pastel shades of these recently laid eggs.
13 I wonder if this Lavender Orpington already laid an egg? The Lavender Orpington is a large, loosely-feathered bird with a medium sized comb. They are very good-natured and easy to handle.
14 Female chickens are called pullets for their first year, or until they begin to lay eggs. For most breeds, chickens generally start laying eggs around four or five months of age.
15 This hen just laid her egg for the day. In winter, hens lay fewer eggs because of the shortage of natural daylight. Egg production increases during warmer months.
16 Guinea fowl eat insects and seeds, including ants, flies, and ticks. I have 12 guinea fowl. They are quite loud, but very interesting to look at with their featherless heads and polka-dotted feathers.
17 Native to Africa, guinea fowl are known for traveling in large, gregarious flocks. Free ranging guinea fowl spend most of their day foraging. They typically work as a team, marching chest to chest devouring anything they see move.
18 In addition to the chickens and guinea fowl, I keep two Pomeranian geese.
19 Pomeranian guard geese are very protective and very noisy, especially when greeting visitors.
20 Geese are very social animals and tend to get along well with other livestock. They can also be humorously demanding around meal time.
21 Geese have great eyesight, good memories and raucous voices - all great characteristics for a pair of feathered sentinels. Given a proper diet and good care, geese can live well into their teens or even their 20s.
22 Before choosing to raise chickens, check with local planning and zoning authorities to be sure chickens are allowed in your area.
23 I've raised many different chicken breeds and varieties over the years - they are all so beautiful to observe. I am fascinated by their many colors and feather patterns.
24 Chickens prefer to roost on high levels. In their fenced enclosure, the chickens are provided ladders and natural roosts made out of felled trees. As you can see, my chickens are very happy birds.