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Assumptions for sustainable chicken enthusiasts


Barred Rocks on grass, photo by Thomas Kriese of

Barred Rocks on grass, photo by Thomas Kriese of

As we begin this project on relocalizing the source of chicken nutrition, we thought it would be beneficial to post some of our assumptions. These are primarily assumptions we make about you, the people who raise chickens.

  • a flock of 5 chickens would be the norm (this also appears to be the legal limit in most jurisdictions), though the techniques discussed here could scale up or down depending on circumstances.
  • the enthusiast has sufficient yard and garden space to house chickens and allow them access to the outdoors (no confinement operations).
  • the chicken enthusiast is handy and probably also an enterprising gardener.
  • you’re not daunted by thinking about nutrition; conversations about protein, carbs, minerals don’t scare you, nor do the details of chicken food preferences make you squeamish (bugs, worms, scratching through poop, etc)
  • you share our vision of small flocks of chickens in every backyard, eating grass and herbs and insects and food scraps, with no smell or required medications, and happy people enjoying super fresh, high-CLA, homegrown eggs.

We will likely discuss each of these posts in dedicated future posts, but that’s a good start for now!

6 comments to Assumptions for sustainable chicken enthusiasts

  • Janet Barocco

    I’m looking to purchase 3 pullets to keep in our yard for the eggs and manure.

    I also have a large bunch of winter wheat I grew in my backyard last year – its not threshed. I’m wondering if chickens will/can eat unthreshed wheat heads?

  • Hello Janet!
    Yes, chickens will love to scratch and peck through wheat that is not threshed. Honestly, I think they prefer eating it when it’s not threshed, it gives them something more to do. I would experiment with the delivery method, either in their feed feeder, served up on dark ground (the contrast of light colored feed and dark ground makes it easy to see), or just as scratch. Then watch and see what they do.
    We do this with amaranth that we grow, they love to scratch it up and peck for the seed that falls out.
    Give it a try and let us know how it goes, thanks for the question!

  • Becky

    Chickens love waddle too (straw logs) they get the grubs & goodies they need.

  • Naomi Williams

    Is this still an active website? I found my way here while looking for info on raising black soldier fly larvae for my chickens, trying to find out if they can be raised here, in Sonoma County, California.

    Currently have 10 backyard chickens. My entire lot is 10,000sf, but it’s shaped like a slice of pie so the backyard is pretty large, but not large enough to provide food for 10 chickens. As you say, the bulk of their food comes in bags from the feedstore.

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  • Naomi W

    Not much to add, except that I have a large enough lot to be allowed 9 chickens.

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