Our Easter egg chickens were traumatized about 2 months ago when stray dogs attacked the free ranging flock and killed 3 hens. They had just started to lay normal sized eggs so they are not too old to lay and we have not had an egg of any size since. The barred rocks recovered quickly but the count is down. Is there any hope for these poor hens?
Sorry to hear of your trouble. That’s one negative aspect of free ranging your chickens. We free range ours, but do it in our fenced orchard so predators have a very hard time getting in. (It’s always possible…) Your pullets will start to lay again. Try feeding them a couple handfuls of cheap dry cat food a day along with their regular feed. It’s high in protein and amino acids and often helps hens recover quickly from stress and molting so they begin laying again. — Jackie
Raising poultry and pigs
Do you have any suggestions for books on raising turkeys, chickens, or feeder pigs? I know there are the BHM books that I plan on ordering, but I like to get a couple of viewpoints before I dive into a new project.
I would like to get 3-4 feeder hogs for my extended family, 10 or so layers, 10-15 meat birds, and maybe 10-15 turkeys for meat.
The Backwoods Home Magazine’s handbook on raising chickens is inexpensive and quite good. But for more information on chickens, I’d recommend Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. They also publish Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs and Storey’s Guide to Raising Turkeys, all quite thorough. I’d recommend starting slowly with maybe your layers and meat chickens and a couple of turkeys and perhaps one or two feeder pigs so you get some hands-on experience while you’re learning. Then the next year, you can do more with confidence and experience behind you. Good luck! You’ll love it. — Jackie