The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Missing chicks

Drinking chicks

Our Red Rangers are very industrious. At less than two weeks old, they're already foraging widely, and I caught one eating a cricket larger than his head.

Unfortunately, their tendency to roam puts them in harm's way. After my head counts began to show declining numbers, I assumed the problem was a rat living in the wood shed. So Mark laboriously helped me heft the brooder up onto the garden cart and haul the chicks' abode around to a safer location right outside the back door.

Guard cat

That afternoon, I caught the predator in action. Not a rat at all, but a sharp-shinned hawk. Too bad our watch cats aren't quite enough to scare the raptor away. Time to put on our thinking caps again before our broiler population becomes any more depleted.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Can you quick hoop they forage area? Maybe some type of netting or deer fencing draped across the tops?
Comment by Charity Sun Sep 6 09:33:58 2015
"Watch cats". Yep. That's what they do. Watch. And that's about it. My two are assigned find field mice that sometimes get in the house. What do they do? They watch the mouse and that's about it. I have to catch them. Sigh...
Comment by NaYan Sun Sep 6 12:04:25 2015
Chicken tractors, we make one out of pvc pipe, chicken wire and a plastic tarp for a cover. Other than the one that got caught under the pipe when we were moving, they all stayed alive.
Comment by wewally Mon Sep 7 18:01:58 2015

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