Chick: A hatchling
Capon: A castrated male used for meat. (How much could that yield?)
Pullet: A female chicken under one year old.
Hen: A female chicken over one year of age
Rooster: A male chicken over one year of age.
Raising Chickens for the first time can be intimidating. When I first called the Feed Shop, I was trying to sound like a pro. I asked, “Do you sell pullets?” “Yes”, the man replied. “Are they all females?” It’s been an uphill battle ever since.
Pullet parenthood is as much of an adventure as child rearing, only with more feces per pound of body weight. However, I’ve been reading quite a bit on poultry matters. (Yes, my coolness just turned over in its grave.) So if I am correct and I am quite certain I am not, here is how chicken rearin’ goes. oros.store
Go to your local feed store and purchase $10 worth of chicks and $50 worth of food and supplies. Don’t forget the water dispensers. Buying the metal ones, never plastic is always advised. Must be country humor. I have yet to see a metal one.
Next, place the chicks somewhere sheltered, like a bedroom closet. Toss in some highly flammable straw or wood shavings and promptly dangle a glowing heat lamp just above them. Note to self: Update homeowner’s policy.
For the next several weeks feed them 3 lbs of food per day and remove 4 lbs of sh*t per day from the closet. Despite all logic the birds get bigger. As the adult feathers grow in be sure to clip one of their wings. That is one per bird, not just one wing total. If clipping is done late chicks will nest in your toilet. This is a bad thing. skywings
Clipping can be accomplished by tossing your scissors and your body into the heaping mound of chicks, feces and straw. Grab a wiggling screeching bird from the bile pile. Restrain it with one hand. Stretch the wing out with your second hand. Clip off 50% of the wings outer ten feathers with your third hand.
As the birds grow adjust the heat light temperature down by one degree per day. No, this is not actually possible. That’s not my point. You start at 100 degrees for hatchlings then continue down by one degree per day until your bedroom is a minimum of three degrees cooler than the spring blizzard outside your window.
Once you have frozen your ear to your semi-cannibalistic down pillow and the chicks have grown their adult feathers, they can be moved outside to the coop. I estimate the initial closet rearing stage to have taken five years.
Before the move, experience the Joy of Wing Clipping one more time. Feather clipping never works the first time. No one knows why. Still, after all the hassle you probably don’t want them to fly the coop in under sixty seconds. Of course, if you’re like me, by this time you may be inclined to pack them each a lunch and leave a stack of Greyhound tickets by the open coop gate. affluentwords
Regarding habitat construction: Hen houses and chicken coops are a competitive art form. There are a myriad of websites showing off architectural designs from Chicken Chateaus to Bird Bordellos. The meticulous craftsmanship makes my own home look like – well – like a chicken coop. Alfao.mx
Always fashionable, I went with a shabby chic motif for my coop. The nesting boxes are an eclectic mix of stolen milk crates affixed to the wall by anything in arms reach. As for the coop itself, there is a gift for tight chicken wire which eludes me. Quite frankly, my first attempt at a coop looks like Dr. Seuss dropped a hit of acid, blasted some Jefferson Starship and rolled around on the wire with every Who in Whoville. I think I’ll keep it. Cellboost.mx