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« I'm Scamp. Pleased To Meet You. | Main | Read Between The Lines »

January 23, 2013


I grew up on a small farm in Oregon. We always let our chickens roam free during the day, and Oregon in the spring and summer have lots of grasshoppers for them to eat. I think that was their favorite food. You'd always see them hopping around the yard trying to catch one. We also had some very old peach trees that dropped their fruit and they would peck at and eat bugs out of. We'd always throw out old scraps to them and the dogs and cats, oddly enough they really like eating egg shells. Chickens seem to eat just about anything. I think one of the very few things they would not eat was bananas!

Thank you for this post and the book link. I've been giving serious thought to raising a few chickens, mostly for the eggs. I appreciate you sharing your research with us.

My uncle raises Chickens, he does not pen his up so they come to our house too. I've never thought about what you are talking about but i find this so interesting - i will be doing some research. THanks!

Thank you for posting this. What wonderful things you are doing. And, it was very interesting.

Another information-packed, interesting blog. I'm always learning from you guys. And best of all, you not only talk the talk, you walk the walk. You LIVE your beliefs. I truly admire all you do.

This was fascinating to read, thanks so much for the information!

Fantastic post, thank you for it. I raise chickens for eggs and meat, and they free-range and get lots of kitchen scraps, but I do supplement with commercial (non-medicated) feed. I like your approach and think I will work towards it!

This is wonderful information. I am thrilled you are making a difference in ways most can't imagine. We are far too hasty to do what is easy and quick.
Rarely the best choice.

Great research and great work!

Those are some beautiful birds you have there. I really enjoy reading your blogs because there is always something interesting and new things to learn! You all are doing such a wonderful job in all facets of running RDF, kudos to you!

Fascinating and so interesting. Who would have thought 15 years ago a couple of Boeing Executives would become farmers! Ha!

They are beautiful!

Kudos up one side and down the other for becoming so self-sufficient.

Thank you for this post, it is so interesting and thought-provoking. Obviously for most of agricultural history, we did not have Purina, so it makes good sense to find out what was used for chicken feed in the past. The winter squash is a really interesting idea, and they certainly seem to be enjoying it!

My grandparents were small farmers from many generations of small farmers who had lived in the same part of Pennsylvania for a couple of hundred years. They were very self-sufficient and did many things the old way. They never bought chicken feed. All the table scraps went into a large bowl, and several times a day was taken out to the barnyard and distributed to the chickens. The eggs they produced were always plentiful and delicious. You are definitely putting a lot more thought into it than they did, and I'm sure your results will be even better.

I guess when you folks make that herbed chicken and squash recipe you linked to, your chicken has the squash already added. :) This is an excellent post, and not the least because it was so informative. Do your chickens get much winter daylight? Do you add electrical lighting for them? Farmer and author Gene Logsdon states that the notion of supplemental light for chickens in winter was a ploy from rural electrical companies many years ago. I'd be interested in hearing more about your chicken-raising techniques. It sounds like you've done a wonderful job.

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