As winter settles in, our flocks have acclimated to the colder temperatures. Often, our chickens' activity levels drop off during this time of year; in addition to the colder weather, the ground is dormant, and the bugs are gone. Despite all of this, you can create enriching exercises for your flock that will make them more active and are excellent boredom fighters. Here are some ideas!
Providing fun things for chickens in the coop will keep them engaged and exercised. You can install a chicken swing. Chickens love to roost on elevated surfaces; having a swing adds movement in addition to height. You can also add treat balls to their environment. Treat balls are toys that you can fill with tasty treats for your flock; they have to peck at the ball for a surprise to fall out! Check out our selection of delicious and nutritious treats for your treat balls!
Another easy way to add enrichment for your backyard flock is to hang a head of cabbage! Drill a hole through the cabbage and thread a rope through it, then hang it up in the coop! Hang it high enough for them to have to work at it, but not too high that they lose hope of reaching it. You can also use baskets or hanging seed cages and stuff with leafy treats, such as kale or spinach. Creating opportunities for your chickens to work for a fresh vegetable treat will fight that winter boredom, and it is good for them!
Let's Get Physical!
There is a good chance that your backyard flock is excited to see you every day! Take advantage of this energy and lead your chickens on a walk! Get them out of the coop and get them moving. You can also quickly train your flock to follow you. Use delicious treats, like PopWorms! ECO, PopWorms! PRO, and PopWorms! LIVE. Encourage them to follow you while making a noise reserved for them, such as a high-pitched whistle. Chickens learn quickly, and before long, you can open their coop and whistle for them to come to you! Whether urban or rural, your chickens will benefit from some supervised and guided free-ranging time!
Providing enriching activities for your flock is a great way to fight obesity in your hens and beat boredom! Happy, health chickens is the goal. Check out PopWorms! for more tips and delicious treats!
We love the summer, and chickens do too! Not only does summer mean warm weather and lots of bugs to eat, but it also means lots of eggs from our flock. But, as the days grow shorter, our hens lay fewer eggs. Hens require 14 to 16 hours of light a day to lay an egg. When the days become shorter, they naturally lay fewer eggs. But you can influence your hens' winter laying by adding artificial lighting to your coop!
To Light or Not to Light
This is a never-ending debate among chicken owners. Some say to allow chickens to rest over the winter, others say to provide artificial lighting to keep them laying. There is no wrong answer here--it all depends on what you, as the owner, want to do! You'll have to weigh the pros and the cons of providing artificial light and decide what is best for your flock.
By lighting the coop through the winter, you'll continue the egg-laying cycle despite the shorter days. The artificial lighting stimulates the pituitary gland in the hen, which signals her ovaries to release an egg. For chicken owners that sell eggs, this will keep your business running. Families will continue to get the eggs they need for their household as well. Lighting your coop also warms up your coop just a bit, and in particularly cold climates, this is a nice benefit.
Providing artificial light means the hens don't get rest through the winter, which many agree ultimately shortens their life. How much it impacts their lifespan is up for debate. Also, lighting a chicken coop increases the chances of an accidental fire that may destroy your flock. Lighting the coop requires consideration for doing so safely.
Types of Lighting
There are several methods for providing light in your coop. You are essentially extending their daylight hours, so putting your lighting on a timer to come on early in the morning and again after the sun goes down, ensuring your hens get at least 14 hours of light in all, is a preferred method. You can use a regular light bulb or a halogen light; you can even choose to use an infrared lamp. Lighting can be powered using solar or using electricity. In the end, ensuring your lighting is safe from breaking is most important. Also, installing your lighting in just the right place to avoid direct contact with your coop bedding is a critical consideration.
For more ideas on getting the most out of your chickens, check out our blog. For more useful information and to learn about our PopWorms! ECO and PopWorms! PRO chicken treats, visit our website. Your chickens will love you for it!
In case you just noticed, Christmas is now just about here. Time is running out, but there is still time to get last minute gifts for chicken keepers-or those that just love chickens! Part 5 of the Chicken Cheer Gift Guide is all about unique and novelty items for the friend who has everything and wants nothing, and even the hard to please. Most of these can be obtained with 1-day shipping to you, or shipped to your friend’s address. These could also be great for after Christmas get-togethers or New Year’s host or hostess gifts. Even if you just want some inspiration for ideas for the upcoming year…you have come to the right place!
Everyone needs mugs, but these will appeal to your coop keeping friends! This creative, handmade mug has a 3D rooster head handle. The mug holds 15 ounces, is microwave and dishwasher safe, and will be a lovely addition to the kitchen or office. Your friends will drink with delight!
This is another fun one: the OCD mug (Obsessive Chicken Disorder). And if you are looking for a mug that is a bit edgier, there is the “cluck it” mug.
Speaking of Clucky gifts, there is also the Don’t Give a Cluck wine glass, or the What the Cluck? 2020 day-to-day calendar. The calendar is a great gift for entering into the new year. It is chocked full of chicken facts, chicken-related quotes, trivia, and jokes. It is both lighthearted, and informative!
AND…you can also pair your clucky items with the “cluck it” wooden sign. The sign is made in Tennessee, USA, of natural wood grain. They are eco-friendly and heat and water resistant. The sign measures approximately 3.5 inches x 4.5 inches, and is a definite conversation piece.
The Chicken Lovers Parking Only sign is also a really fun sign. Violators will be egged! Also made in the USA, and is built to last with the highest quality aluminum, with a weather resistant finish. The sign is 9x12 inches- large enough to get noticed, but ideal for smaller spaces. It would be a great addition to the chicken coop, the yard, or the office!
Do you have a friend who has cute, fluffy and sweet chickens? Or…do you know someone with chickens who are not so friendly? Either way, this sign is perfect for everyone! This gift could be a serious, or gag gift. The sign is made for either indoor or outdoor us, and is a unique addition to the home, office or coop.
What could be better for your coop keeping friend than a new automatic chicken coop door kit with timer controller. It is designed especially for chicken coops, and comes as a weather-proof fiberglass door that works vertically or horizontally with a powerful motor. This controller allows full automation of the coop door to get the girls in safely in at night, then let them out in the morning! Your friend will love this…or get it for yourself!
And they can also protect the flock when you give them a great trail camera! The camera will allow surveillance to identify chicken predators or other threats. They will also your friends to troubleshoot issues and also to dig deeper into their chicken’s behavior! This one is waterproof, and motion activated with a color screen and keypad. It comes in 3 available user-friendly modes (photo only, video only, photo + video), Up to 32GB SD card (not included in the package), also has loop recording, temperature/date/time/moon phase imprint, time lapse, and timer setting. There are many options for trail cameras out there, but this one comes with many options, and won’t break the bank!
But, if you want to show up with gift in hand, you can pick up a chicken handling or other chicken guide/hobby farm magazine. Just about every grocery store or feed store carries them. Surprise them with the current issue and an upcoming subscription!
Depending on where you are, you should pick up our PopWorms! Chicken Treats! in stores. But if you are not in the areas where they are sold in stores, make sure to order online. For only a short while longer, the PopWorms! Holiday Bundle allows you to buy 2 bags of PopWorms! ECO, and 1 bag of PopWorms! PRO, for a great low price!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us to you!!
This week’s PopWorms! Chicken Cheer Gift Guide is chocked full of must have gifts that any chicken lover will covet! I have included a list that features stylish dresses, shirts, pajamas, clogs and shoes, and even accessories such as hairclips and shawls. This list should have you covered for unique ideas that will be perfect for the chicken loving fashionistas in your life!
Dresses, Shirts, and PJs
This Chicken Happy Print Pattern Sleeveless Dress by JTamigo is so eye-catching, it is bound to get some compliments! It is very versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It’s design of polyester blend and heat-dye application means it is both comfortable and structured not to fade. It is available in a variety of sizes from XS to XL, and also has pockets!
Looking for a men’s casual button down shirt with flare? Look no further than this short sleeve shirt by INTERESTPRINT. The shirt is made of machine washable, comfortable and breathable elastic fabric and has a great print of multiple roosters. You can get this in both short sleeve and long sleeve, and in a variety of sizes. This shirt would be great for the beach or for that casual get together!
Running out of ideas (as if we haven’t given you so many already!)? How about a T-shirt? These T shirts are designed to make a statement! But the designs are only equal to the comfort these will add to your coop keepers’ wardrobe. Amazon has so many designs to choose from that will satisfy any taste, including “Yep, I talk to Chickens”, “Chicken Whisperer”, “Cocky”, and for the edgier, “What the Cluck”… to name a few! Check out the many selections here.
For the lounger, you can’t go wrong with chicken PJs. These PJs provide comfort, cuteness, and affordability that will be worn all winter long! For the ladies, choose the jersey notch collar PJ sleeve and short set. Made of spandex and rayon this set is both light and breathable. And the spring chickens design will be a hit! Also available in the same design, is a jersey knit short sleeve night shirt. And for those who love flannel, these 100% cotton PJ set is just perfect!
And don’t forget men’s lounge pants. The officially licensed Foghorn Leghorn Chick Magnet lounge pants are perfect for a man who wants a whole lot of casual and a whole lot of awesome! These are a cotton polyester blend, so should not shrink and comes in multiple sizes. Great for all ages!
Clogs, Boots, and Sneakers
These slip on clogs by sloggers provide easy on and easy off comfort. They also have a special insole that provides all day support, and the bottoms provide good traction. These clogs are also made of waterproof rubber and are easy to clean. And the adorable designs of rise and shine chickens (in either yellow or red) will add to the happiness of going to check on the flock! Sloggers also has these in mid-calf rainboots that are perfect for the coop, the garden or on the go in the rain!
If you have a coop keeping friend who loves sneakers, then this is the perfect gift! These Gnarly Tees Women’s High Tops are pretty unique, and pretty awesome! They are canvas, lace-up high tops with light blue and purple background with multiple chicken designs. They include a soft textile lining with lightweight construction and high-quality outsole for traction and durability. Let your friends strut their stuff in these smart and snazzy kicks!
Do you need some unique stocking stuffers or add-ons? Then how about a beautiful chicken print shawl/beach wrap? This soft and smoot gift is made of silk chiffon and is very versatile. It will add style and fun to any outfit.
If you are thinking jewelry, how about this Rooster brooch pen? You can choose between either black and white or in multi-color. Either way, it is an ideal gift for brooch collectors and chicken lovers!
Hair accessories are also great gift ideas, and these hair tie and clips are likely to get poached (get it?)! They are designed with no sharp ends and are gentle on hair to reduce snags and hair breakage. The poached egg design also add a whimsical style to any wardrobe. These are super cute must haves--and at $5.99 for the set, you can buy a few!
This gift list of unique clothing, shoes and accessories would make any chicken lover happy to get under the tree. And be sure to check out our PopWorms! Website for great add-ons including our PopWorms! Holiday Bundle! It is not too late to add this perfect accessory for the coop keeper on your nice list! Merry Christmas!
Have you started making you holiday to-do list and wondering what gift to give for the chicken lover in your life? Look no further than our PopWorms! Chicken Cheer Holiday Gift Guide! We have already covered gifts for the coop and items that make egg collection easier and more fun! This week’s focus is on items for the kitchen. Because eggs are used for all meals from breakfast to dinner, and nibbling that happens in between, it makes sense to have kitchen tools to make cooking egg-based meals easier. I love chickens and I definitely love cooking and eating eggs, so I am excited to share my list of ten, low-cost gear and gadgets that will help you answer the question of what to give your coop keeping friends (or anyone who just loves eggs) for Christmas!
1. Oversized Decorative Kitchen Towels
These embroidered towels are super cute, super absorbent, and also dry quickly. They come in a set of 3 towels with a charming farmhouse patchwork design and chicken silhouettes. They are also made of 100% cotton that should stand up to multiple washes.
2. Chicken Shaped Oven Mitt and Hot Pad
This set is so adorable and would make a nice, whimsical addition to kitchen decoration, while also being functional. They are made of 100% cotton, and are heat resistant and machine washable. Both the oven mitt and the hot pad are designed in really fun chicken shapes, and would be great add-ons with the towels (both are made by Design Imports). I want a set for myself (hint hint)!
3. Farmhouse Chicken Chef Bib Apron
Make the ensemble complete with this delightful chef’s apron! The apron is made of 100% cotton and features a charming design including chickens, chicken footprints, hearts, and polka dots. There is also a useful and fashionable red front pocket that accents the red ties and neck strap. This gift will add style with practicality!
4. Ceramic Chicken Measuring Spoons
Add charm to the kitchen while measuring out those small amounts of ingredients! These measuring spoons are neat gifts for chicken lovers and would make great hostess gifts. The set comes with 1-Tbsp, 1-tsp, ½-tsp and ¼-tsp measuring spoons as well as a chicken shaped holder for the spoons that make for a playful kitchen display.
5. Nested Hen and Chick Dry Measuring Cups
The measuring cups from Fred & Friends comes in a set of 6 that measure from ¼ cup to a full cup. The nested cups are true to their name and all fit inside each other for easy storage. But when needed, the one-cup “mother hen” can be opened to reveal an egg with a little chick inside, followed by another. They are made of food-safe plastic and provide accurate measurements for dry ingredients. Buy these with the chicken measuring spoons to make it a complete set!
6. Electric Egg Cooker
Whipping up boiled eggs is now fast and easy! This Chefman electric egg cooker allows cooking eggs in a variety of ways. With this gadget you can make poached eggs, omelets, and even soft, medium or hard boiled in minutes. It also comes with a tray lifting tool for easy removal without burning your hands. An included piercing tool and measuring cup that allows piercing shells without breaking. There is also a nifty buzzer to alert when the cooking is finished. Also, the compact size is perfect for dorms or offices.
7. Silicone Egg Rings Non Stick Fried Egg Mold
This gift will allow your friend to whip up fluffy, perfectly shaped eggs for egg sandwiches, eggs benedict, or omelets every time! These are made of food-grade silicone so they are easy to clean and also eco-friendly. They come in a pack of four in different colors. They are reusable and also dishwasher safe. They have a handle that can be wiggled to see when ready. Your friends will love the fact that these egg rings are totally non-stick, so there will be no more scratched pans!
8. Egg Peeler
Have you ever tried to peel a freshly boiled egg only to lose half of the egg with the shell? Me too! Ugh! This nifty little gadget is a must have for any kitchen. This is one that you don’t think you need until you get it. It is the ultimate time and temper saver! With this egg peeler, All you need to do is add a little water in the peeler, enclose the egg inside, and shake it a few times to remove the peel. And a nice bonus is that after the shell is off, you can use the egg slicer that comes with the peeler! Two gifts in one that could also make great stocking stuffers!
9. Snap ‘N Stack 2-Layer Food Storage Container with Egg Holder Trays
This is something that I wanted for years and finally got…and I love! If your friend is always making deviled eggs and bringing them to the party on paper plates, then this is the perfect gift. The Snapware egg holder holds deviled eggs or whole eggs safely in place for transport to potlucks or parties. The set includes 2 egg holders that can hold up to 24 eggs and a plastic lid, all of which are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe. The egg holder inserts can also be removed and the container can be used to hold or transport other foods as well. Another bonus is that Snapware plastic products come with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect.
10. The Egg Cookbook: The Creative Farm-To-Table Guide To Cooking Fresh Eggs
This delightful cookbook includes delicious recipes to help you make the most of those great, and often large supply of eggs. The book features over 100 recipes including breakfast classics such as simple to fancy omelets, poached eggs, and interesting twists to huevos rancheros, and even breakfast stew. Recipes also include uses for eggs in eggnog, meringues, and mayonnaise…just to name a few. Also included are some entertaining stories, observations, and lessons learned from the author from years of raising backyard chickens.
We hope you love the gift ideas that we have recommended! AND be sure make your gift complete by including the PopWorms! Holiday Bundle to any of the gifts above! Merry Christmas!
Last week I focused on some fun gift ideas for the chicken coop and for chickens. This week is focused on helpful items for laying hens, egg collection and storage, that your backyard poultry enthusiast will surely love!
Nesting Boxes and Pads
First, let’s talk about nesting boxes-I mean, the girls need a secure place to lay their eggs! Also, the nesting box is essential for your flock keeping friends in order, to maintain the eggs in a single, safe location. If your friend is a beginner or has only a single hen, then the Miller Manufacturing 16320 Single Chicken Nesting Box is a good choice. The box is made of polyethylene, so it will not dent, corrode or rust. The slanted roof prevents roosting and it can be mounted to a wall. Other options include Homestead Essentials Roll Out Poultry Nesting Boxes. You can buy those with two or more compartments. These are made of galvanized steel with plastic lids, and also have slanted roofs. But, these also come with a removable tray for easy cleaning. Also, the eggs roll to the front of the nesting box for easy collection! And if the nesting box is your choice, don’t forget to add on nesting box pads. These nest pads are perforated to allow debris to pass through, leaving a clean surface so eggs are cleaner than with conventional straw. And they are washable! Another bonus is that they are made in the USA!
If your flock keeper is intending on adding to the brood, then may I suggest giving an egg incubator. These little contraptions come in all sizes, styles, and brands. They also range from basic, tabletop styles for the beginner or small scale enthusiast, to cabinet incubators for the advanced hobbyist or larger-scale professional. Most are equipped with temperature and humidity control, and many also come with automatic egg turners. There are many to choose from, and range from around $20.00 and up. You can sort through the selection based on the level of complexity and your price range, here. Adding on an inexpensive egg candler is a fun and helpful way to allow for viewing the progress, growth and quality of the fertilized eggs.
Egg Collection, Cleaning, and Storage
If the goal is to consume or to sell the eggs, no flock keeper would be complete without a range of supplies for egg cleaning, collection, and storage. The Harris Farms Coated Wire Basket holds up to 6 dozen XL eggs and is constructed of heavy-duty wire that is coated with plastic to protect the eggs from breaking. Also, the design of this basket makes it ideal not only for collecting, but also for washing and drying eggs. A more decorative choice for collection and also storage is the Black Metal Mesh Wire Storage Basket by MyGift. This basket also features a super cute ceramic hen that tops the wire basket, allowing both function and decorative style. If you are looking for alternatives to collection baskets, check out the choices of egg gathering aprons. These are sturdy, machine washable, and come in a variety of beautiful colors and designs to allow your coop keeper to gather eggs in style. Some are also made in small sizes for the young egg collector.
Egg cleaning towelettes are also nice add-on gifts, as they are convenient to use and are natural alternatives to chemical cleaners. Towelettes by MannaPro are also economical as one towelette can clean up to one dozen eggs. I also came across this nifty hand egg brush by FarmTek. If you are looking for something all inclusive, this Egg Cleaning Kit has just about everything needed. The kit includes a basket, egg wash powder, egg brush, and a hose to connect to an air compressor. The washer uses air pressure to agitate the water that results in super clean eggs (pressure valve needed, but not included).
Your egg enthusiast will never be short on storage with the gift of egg cartons. You can choose from those made from recycled pulp, glass, or plastic. Most hold 12-14 eggs and are reusable. Cartons from Lixit even come with cute carton decoration!
PopWorms! Poultry Treats
No list would be complete without including PopWorms! Poultry Treats! These make great stocking stuffers, and these tasty treats are packed with protein, fats, amino acids, and calcium, which are great for layers! You can choose between PopWorms! ECO and PopWorms! PRO, or if your don’t want to choose, then go with our PopWorms! Holiday Gift Bundle that includes both! And, you will feel good knowing that you have given gifts that are not only nutritious, but also Eco-friendly!
I hope this list gives you great gift ideas for your friends, loved ones, or yourself! Be sure to check out next week for part 3 of the Chicken Cheer Gift Guide! Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Do you have a special chicken keeper (or the chickens) in your life? Would you like to give them a gift this holiday season, but not sure where to start? Then keep reading because every chicken enthusiast has a long list of things they wish they had. I’ve had so much fun combing the internet to hand-pick some of the best gifts to help them excel at their favorite hobby. There were so many, I am showing products within a 5-part PopWorms! Guide to Chicken Christmas Cheer! I could not help myself…so many cute and cool chicken clothes (for your chicken person, not the chicken), goodies, gadgets, and gizmos out there!
To kick it off, let’s talk about items for the coop. When looking for the right gift for chicken keepers, you can’t go wrong with anything that helps your chicken loving friends upgrade, or fortify their coop more easily or comfortably, or to allow chicken entertainment.
Coop and Chicken Heating
Want to help keep the feathered friends warm over the colder months? The K&H Pet Products Thermo Chicken Perch will keep chickens warm and happy. The perch warms chicken feet, and aids to retain body heat. This ergonomically designed perch also includes dual internal thermostats to regulate the perfect temperature, day and night. You can purchase for $36.44 from Chewy.com.
If you would rather provide a more substantial heating source, the Cozy Products Flat Panel Chicken Coop Heater uses both radiant and convection heat with low wattage for warmth without the risk of overheating. This heater should be easy to set up in any coop, and uses 90% less energy than a space heater. This product also comes from Chewy.com and is a little under $40.00.
Water and Feed Containers
Chicken feeders and water containers are nifty devices that come in handy. Even if your hobbyist already has some, they could also use more, as it never hurts to change them out periodically for a good cleaning. And who doesn’t like new stuff? Lixit makes a versatile and inexpensive product that can be used as a chicken feeder and /or waterer. The reservoir holds 64 ounces of water or 4 pounds of food, and the chicken design on the outside is just cute! Feathers and Beaky drinkers and feeders add a height adjustable feature that lifts the base off of the ground, and features a sturdy design.
The Bergan's Autowata drinker keeps a continuous supply of fresh water flowing. The drinker is simply attached to a garden hose and ensures that the chickens always have enough to drink.
If your chicken enthusiast is good at DIY, then the poultry water nipple would be a great addition! These can be easily attached to a PVC pipe, a hanging bucket, or watering kit to provide the flock access to a steady supply of clean water. And depending on geography, Heated waterers or bases can keep the ice water away all winter long!
Fun Chicken Toys
Chicken lovers love to keep their feathered friends stimulated and happy. These chicken coop toys are sure to please! You can get them all or choose one or two. Your chicken hobbyist, and the chickens, will thank you.
For starters, the Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball rolls and entertains chickens. It can be filled with fresh veggies to also provide a healthy treat.
Want to combine chicken exercise with chicken enjoyment? The chicken swing or chicken ladders are easily installed inside the coop and are sure to delight! These products are also perfect for giving to your friends who have chicks. Everyone will enjoy watching the chickens jump on and off, and the chickens will be occupied and have a blast!
Finally, another way to keep the chickens engaged is with the Lixit Chicken Toy. This fun toy doubles as a treat dispenser and food is slowly released from the openings, as the chickens peck to get at the food, keeping them active and occupied.
Of course you need to fill the dispenser with something, so why not our PopWorms! ECO or PopWorms! PRO treats! And, there is no need to decide which product to get the girls… just get them both with our PopWorms! Holiday Bundle: 2 bags of PopWorms! ECO, and 1 bag of PopWorms! PRO, for a great low price!
Stay tuned for next week’s post, but until then, maybe some of these gifts might inspire you to take up the hobby yourself! Also, be sure to check out our upcoming site-wide sale from 11/29-12/1!
Since your chickens are limited on what they can forage this time of year, you need to feed them more. Of course give them their scratch, meal and corn (digesting corn warms the little darlings up internally), but you will definitely be supplementing more during the winter.
Warm, Tasty Treats Your Chicken Will Thank You For
Other Treats Chickens Love
PopWorms!, are nutritional treats made from dried black soldier fly larvae. Your chickens will rave about them. PopWorms! ECO has a higher protein content and 25% more calcium than mealworms. PopWorms! PRO has probiotics, necessary for keeping a healthy gut. You can get the girls a PopWorms! Holiday Bundle, which comes with 2 bags of the PopWorms! ECO and 1 bag of the PopWorms! PRO by clicking here.
What Not to Give your Chickens
Per The Happy Chicken Coop you should not give your girls these: acorns, apple cores and seeds, avocado, dry rice, eggplant, beans and lentils, leeks and onions for a complete list click here.
Springtime is the traditional season for getting new chicks and beginning to raise them. However, there are many advantages to doing so in the fall instead! These advantages could range from the freedom to spend more time with your chicks to better egg laying when they've matured.
Here are 4 key benefits of raising chicks in the fall:
Of course, in order to be successful you'll need to plan ahead. For instance, you'll need to obtain a heat plate or some other source of heat for those colder days that will signal the start of winter. Also, you will want to take advantage of fall produce, and occasionally feed high protein treats to your chicks, especially after they begin their first molting season.
For more insight into how best to care for your chicks, as well as many, many other chicken-related resources, explore our website at PopWorms!
If you are reading this blog it's because you are like us...You LOVE chickens! We do too! But there are some other awesome poultry pals you can keep which we find almost as enthralling. The best thing about a mixed flock is that they usually don't compete for the exact same food resources, so you can keep more birds with a little variety.
Ducks - YES!
Ducks are AWESOME! They are hilarious to watch and many have very distinct personalities. While not incredibly intelligent, they aren't mean spirited either. They tolerate most climates pretty well, aside from the desert southwest. They like rain and humidity and they love to have a good romp in the snow.
If you've got touchy neighbors, ducks usually make much less commotion early in the morning and all night long than some other fowl friends we'll cover.
Ducks are more expensive than chickens to maintain. They'll cost almost twice as much to feed, and they require adequate water. Ducks need to be able to swim and bathe all the time. In a backyard setting you can just keep a kiddie pool or two filled with fresh water daily for them. They do lay a considerable number of eggs though, so they really do try to earn their keep.
Turkeys - YES!
If you are meat farming, you need a turkey or two. They are relatively efficient for their size because they forage a lot. Turkeys come in many varieties, and some of them are known to be quite intelligent and personable. It is this author's experience that turkeys raised singly by a family can be quite a loving pet, while those raised unhandled in large groups tend to get rude and aggressive, especially towards little children.
They are suitable for most climates, and tolerate just about any kind of weather. So if you're into raising poultry, not little people, give them a try!
Peafowl (peacocks) - Maybe?
Peacocks are amazing if you have the space. A lot of space. Did we mention they need space? The males especially need at least 100 square feet per bird to really stretch out during mating season. If you're farming for sustenance you'll be spending good money after bad with peacocks. As one old farmer once told this author "They're more of a lookin' bird than an eatin' bird."
Pheasants - If you've got what it takes.
Pheasants are gorgeous. They're also solid layers during spring and summer, laying as many as 10 eggs per day! But they come with some real challenges too, like the fact that your chickens may not like the pheasant addition. It's true. Pheasants are very aggressive and competitive, and may attack smaller birds, if they feel they are a threat. However, offering alot of space to prevent overcrowding, and raising pheasant and chicken chicks together from the beginning, with caution, might ease initial threat perceptions.
Though not native species to many areas, pheasants can handle most US climates other than the driest deserts. But they need a lot of space or they will start pecking at others.
They also spook much easier than other birds. So if you live in a noisy neighborhood or have big barking dogs, you might find that pheasants stress out too easily.
Here at Popworms, we love all kinds of poultry just as much as our customers do. Take a look at our website for more great poultry resources, and enjoy your flock! Use coupon code LIVE to receive 30% off Popworms! Live. Offer good through October 31, 2019.