Getting Started Information and Supplies
Poultry Periodicals: Most U.S. rural-living magazines have occasional articles on poultry—the most common homestead animal. And also . . .
Feather Fancier Newspaper is a Canadian newspaper focused on purebred poultry, pigeons, waterfowl, pheasants, etc.; $20 US/yr; sample $2; 519-542-6859; fax 519542-4168; 5739 Telfer Rd„ Sarnia, Ont. N7T 7H2, CANADA; [email protected]; www.feather fancier.on.ca.
National Poultry News is "the Country Paper Country Folks Love to Read," a homespun 32-pg quarterly, largely reader-written. It covers show birds, homestead flocks, and often other homestead animals and homestead topics too! Cost is $10/yr; sample issue $2 USA; $5 overseas. Contact Glenda L. Heywood, Editor: phone/fax 864-855-0140; PO Box 1647, Easley, SC
Basic Principles of Economic Chicken Management
1. Start your flock with quality chicks, bought from a local hatchery or mail-ordered, or incubate your own eggs.
2. Choose your best caretaking schedule: a small egg flock year-round, or a big meat-production for a few months a year (or both). Choose a broiler breed for your fryers, a good laying breed for your layers, or a quality meat-eggs breed and eventually raise your own.
3. Feed your cockerels or capons only long enough to get them to the eating size you want, butcher them yourself, and then can or freeze them, so that you won't have to feed them any longer than necessary.
4. Use home-grown feeds when possible: pasture, household, and garden scraps; surplus milk; garden squash and mangel beets raised and cooked for your birds' winter veggies . . .
5. Feed your birds a generous (and diversified) diet. To a real extent, the more they eat, the more they grow, and the more they lay. Make sure your birds have adequate ventilation, space, sunshine, and gravel for their gizzards.
6. Buy or raise some new pullet chicks every year; periodically cull your existing flock of layers carefully and send to the stew pot any birds that are performing poorly.
7. Shovel out the chicken house at least twice a year, age the manure in your compost heap, and then use it to enrich your garden soil.
8. Sell your surplus eggs direct to other householders at a reasonable profit to help pay for the cash expenses of poultry-keeping.
9. Preserving eggs evens out the spring surplus with the winter shortage and enables you to get along feeding fewer laying hens.
10. Keep basic records so you know where your greatest expenses and best profits are.
New Zealand Poultry & Pigeon News Digest is a bimonthly journal sent air mail; 20 A4 pages on "interesting topics from constructive breeding to show reports." Price $15 US/yr. Back issues and book list available: PO Box 133, Inglewood, NEW ZEALAND. The Poultry Press is available monthly from 765-827-0932; PO Box 542, Connersville, IN 47331-0542. Cost is $21/yr; $59/3 yrs; sample copy $3. Poultry Times: If agribusiness concepts don't stick in your craw, to understand the commercial poultry production scene, and for good disease articles with solutions, spend $9 for a year's subscription to Poultry Times; 770-536-2476; fax 770-532-4894; 345 Green St. NW, PO Box 1338, Gainesville, GA 30503; [email protected] spring.com or [email protected]. A commercial farm poultryman in your neighborhood would be a breeder (who sells eggs to hatcheries), a hatcheryman (who sells just-hatched birds to growers), or a grower (who sells eggs and/or broilers to processors and distributors). But Poultry Times will ask further: whether you're a broiler processor, egg packer and processor, hatcheryman, broiler or layer producer, commercial egg producer, turkey producer, feed manufacturer, flock serviceman, hatching egg producer (breeder), supplier to the poultry industry, turkey processor, started pullet raiser, ag college, veterinarian, government, financial advisor (banker), or nutritionist (poultry feed component specialist). Its calendar lists poultry specialty conventions, conferences, seminars, and short courses—all aimed at the for-profit, large-scale poultry operation. Poultry Clubs, Museums, and Tours: The American Poultry Association offers membership, quarterly newsletters, and an annual yearbook and show awards for
$10/yr. Contact Lorna Rhodes, Secty-Treas; 508-473-8769; 133 Millville St., Mendon, MA 01756; [email protected] home.com; www.ampltya.com. The Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities promotes endangered and rare poultry worldwide and also unites collectors of antique poultry equipment. Get a Membership Breeders Directory and four bulletins for $12.50/yr: Glenn Drowns, Sec.; 1878-230th St., Calamus, IA 52729. The Maine Alternative Poultry Association (MAPA) organizes growers with less than 2,000 laying hens or less than 10,000 meat birds: Dr. Opitz, 207-581-2771.
The National Poultry Museum at Bonner Springs, KS, is part of the National Agricultural Museum. It displays thousands of antiques representing the poultry industry's heritage. Or visit the American Poultry Historical Society: Dr. Lou Arlington, Secretary, 260 Animal Sciences Bldg., 1675 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706. Overseas, visit the Dutch Poultry Museum in Barnveld, Holland.
For the ultimate guided tour, join the 16-day annual Stromberg Poultry Fancier Tour. You'll visit Sweden, Poland, Holland (International Flower Auction, poultry museum, and a private fancier), England, and Germany (the Thuringer Poultry Museum and the famous Hanover Poultry Show displaying 20,000+ birds of every type, plus dealers and suppliers), and more. For tour schedule, details, and price contact Loyl Stromberg: 218-543-4228; 8302 Big Whitefish Narrows, Pine River, MN 56474. Poultry Supplies: For small flock service, look in your local Yellow Pages under "Feed Dealers" or "Poultry." Your local feed salesperson can be an invaluable source of advice to help you get started and keep you going, as well as supply information on commercial feeds and basic components of build-it-yourself feed rations and general livestock supplies. Hatcheries, local or mail-order (listed below), often sell specialized books and poultry equipment for family flocks.
Brower Equipment offers a free catalog of brooders, bulbs, cages, waterers, and feeders: 319-469-4141; 800-5531791; fax 319-469-4402; Hwy. 16 W, PO Box 2000, Houghton, IA 52631; [email protected]; www. browerequip. com. EggCartons.com sells poultry supplies, especially egg cartons (pulp or foam) sized for chicken or duck eggs, $37.50/250, etc.: 888-852-5340; fax 877-455-4647; 24 Holt Rd„ PO Box 302, Manchaug, MA 01526-0302; [email protected]; www.EggCartons.com. Foy's Pigeon Supplies sells general poultry supplies. Free catalog: 877-355-7727; 3185 Bennett's Run Rd., Beaver Falls, PA 15010; www.foyspigeonsupplies.com. G & M Sales of Virginia sells poultry feeders, etc.: 800296-9156; 540-433-9156; fax 540-433-4818; 4562 S. Valley Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 22801; [email protected] ofva.com; www.gmsalesofva.com. GQF Mfg. Co. Quail & Poultry Equipment offers incubators, brooders, waterers, candlers, and much more!
Inman Hatcheries offers a free color catalog of ducklings, goslings, turkeys, gamebirds, chickens, incubators, brooders, waterers, medications, books: 800-2431962; 605-225-8122; PO Box 616, Aberdeen, SD 57402-0616.
Rocky Top General Store sells poultry and gamefowl supplies, antique tools, coal/gas/wood stoves, farm/pet supplies, grain mixtures, kerosene heaters, etc., by mail-order or in-store: 865-882-8867; fax 865-8829056; PO Box 1006, Harriman, TN 37748; rockytop [email protected]; www.rockytopgen.com/. Smith Poultry and Game Bird Supply sells poultry books, incubators and brooders, medications, vitamins, wormers, and watering supplies; 14000 W 215th St., Bucyrus, KS 66013; 913-879-2587; fax
913-533-2497; [email protected]; www. PoultrySupplies.com.
Stromberg's Unlimited sells poultry-keeping supplies, poultry stock, incubators, chicken pickers, books. Free catalog: 800-720-1134; 218-587-2222; fax 218-5874230; Box 400, Pine River, MN 56474; [email protected]; strombergschicken.com. Val Products is a multinational manufacturer in this field: 717-392-3978; fax 717-392-8947; PO Box 958, Lancaster, PA 17608; [email protected]; www. valproducts. com. Poultry Books: Raising Chickens by Cynthia Haynes (1985) is fairly recent and carefully researched. Raising Poultry the Modern Way by Leonard S. Mercia (updated 1990) is a long-time classic for those who want a commercial operator's approach. If your interest is in a few chickens kept as pets or show stock in a suburban setting, read Bantams: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Helga Fritzsche (1985), translated from its original German edition. Other useful books are Chickens in Your Backyard by Rick and Gail Luttmann; Raising Poultry Successfully by Will Graves (1985), which covers chickens, ducks and geese; Starting Right with Poultry by G.T Klein (1973); The Complete Handbook of Poultry Keeping by Stuart Banks (1979); Raising Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Pigeons and Guineas by
Cynthia Haynes (1987); The Family Poultry Flock, edited by Lee Schwarz (1981); Raising Small Meat Animals: Efficient Home Production of Cornish Game Hens, Chicken Broilers, Turkey Roasters, Rabbits and Squabs by Victor Michael Giammattei; and Producing Eggs and Chickens with the Minimum of Purchased Feed by Ed Robinson (1972).
Continue reading here: Chicken Breeds
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