Backyard Chicken Eggonomics: How Much Does it Really Cost to Raise Chickens?

I’ve found that this is a question I’m often asked when I tell people that I raise backyard chickens. How much does it cost in dollars as well as time? So I decided to start taking notes of all my expenditure, the time that I spend on tending my flock as well as what I’m getting out of having backyard chickens. I always figured I kinda broke even, but I was surprised to discover that I actual turn a handsome profit for my labor of love. Continue reading “Backyard Chicken Eggonomics: How Much Does it Really Cost to Raise Chickens?”

Piper the Silkie’s Persecution: The Sad Story of the Pecking Order

Since I began raising backyard chickens, there have been some ugly aspects that I hadn’t fully grasped beforehand. The first being the awful and soul shaking dispatching of the rooster. I won’t go into that too much because it still fills my heart with a great heaviness to think about. I know that it’s a integral part of animal husbandry, but taking a life is not something I was put upon this earth to do. Still, it had to be done and I couldn’t allow someone else to do it on my behalf just because it made me soul sick. I owed that much to that evil bastard of a rooster.

The second ugly aspect that I’m dealing with currently is the terribly savage way in which the chickens establish the pecking order. The major shit-storm basically all falls upon our young heroine, Piper. She is the cutest and sweetest chicken I’ve ever seen. She follows me around the yard like I was her momma and adores my dog Sasha. She is meek, asks for little and takes nothing.

Fuzzy Wumpkins

Except, of course, for the continuous daily beatings from the other hens. These big brutes to be exact. Continue reading “Piper the Silkie’s Persecution: The Sad Story of the Pecking Order”

Backyard Chickens. Now, More Than Ever!

California’s 2014 Proposition 2 carries a potential 40% price increase in eggs.

Back in November I and many other Californians voted YES to Proposition 2 which requires calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that would allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Beginning January 1, 2015, farmers will have had to make needed changes or face fines and/or imprisonment for up to 180 days.

Chickens huddle together in their egg-processing plant at the Dwight Bell Farm in Atwater, California in 2008. Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press. Via

The proposition was supported by the Humane Society of the United States, The California Medical Association, Consumer Federation of America, The Center for Food Safety, 63.4% of Californians (or 8,009,556 hip voters), and me. Yours truly. James Arthur Gielow, Deputy Director/CEO/COO/DMD of Mind Your Dirt Inc. Ltd LLC etc. In other words, 5 out of 5 James Gielows’ agree; being cool with animals is pretty neat!
Continue reading “Backyard Chickens. Now, More Than Ever!”