Have you ever thought about getting chickens?   They are more popular than ever now that people want to have organic eggs and food.  I have had chickens for years at my barn and they make me happy in so many ways. Chickens and horses can work well at your farm.  Here are my granddaughter Gretchen’s thoughts on them:

 

Did you know that chickens are beneficial to your horses? Chickens desensitize horses to loud noises and sudden movements. They are nature’s fly trap keeping the bugs at bay and they pick up the extra feed on the ground reducing waste. If you have wild turkeys or other birds on your trails keeping chickens around will prepare your horse for similar noises while trail riding.

From a horse owners perspective, Gretchen is 100% right.  Chickens do help to desensitize horses. From their loud and proud clucks after laying eggs to their hen house talk, chickens can produce a number of noises. They flap, jump up and down from roosts and sometimes chase each other raising the straw and bedding all around.  

 

My horses soon became used to my chickens when they were in the barn.  One of the hens used to sleep beside the horse in the stall that was next to the coop stall.  Nose to nose they became friends. And I truly feel that the horses liked having the chickens in the barn.  They seemed to listen to them and then happily would sleep.

I have put my chickens out in the garden with me as I pulled weeds.  My girls would scratch and eat bugs as I went along. They are good at eating my kitchen scraps too. They love most vegetables, potatoes and fruit, grass, grain and most of all mealworms for a special treat.  

 

I love my girls as I have had mainly hens, with the exception of one rooster in our group that is quite the gentleman.  Our hens offer us daily eggs that grocery store brands cannot hold a candle too. Once you have had free range eggs, you never look back. The yokes are rich in color and are held together with firm egg whites and well, just taste good on their own or in foods we make.  From baked goods to casseroles and even salads, they make everything taste better.

 

Chickens don’t require too much in the way of care when they are mature.  A clean and dry shelter away from predators with water and chicken feed. So a horse barn with space for chickens works out well.  They can be as tame as you want from daily handling when they are chicks. Some of my sweetest pets have been chickens-they have followed me everywhere, sat on my lap and I carried them all around when I was young.  If you are interested in chickens, I hope you try a few to see for yourself that they will make your barn a happier place to be.

 

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