Pastured Poultry Tips – Joel Salatin








Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • Intermediate skills for successfully raising chickens for meat.
  • Improving the odds of chick survival in the first 2 weeks.
  • Why you can expect to lose anywhere from 5% to 15% of your birds.
  • Moving newly purchased chicks quickly from the hatchery to your property—tips for circumventing postal delivery problems, so there’s less delay.
  • The primary breed of chicken that Joel prefers to raise for meat.
  • The fastest growing breed of chicken.
  • Hardening off chicks to prepare them for colder outdoor temperatures.
  • Automating your chicken plucking… to process more birds, faster.
  • Protecting chicks in the brooder from rats.
  • Understanding the seasonality of chickens in your region.

About The Speaker:

Joel Salatin, 59, calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. Others who like him call him the most famous farmer in the world, the high priest of the pasture, and the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson. Those who don’t like him call him a bio-terrorist, Typhoid Mary, charlatan, and starvation advocate.

He co-owns, with his family, Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and award-winning documentary Food Inc., the farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, 10 retail outlets, and a farmers’ market with salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry, and forestry products. When he’s not on the road speaking, he’s at home on the farm, keeping the callouses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails, mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting local, regenerative food and farming systems.

Salatin writes The Pastoralist column for Stockman Grass Farmer, granddaddy catalyst for the grass farming movement, and the Pitchfork Pulpit column for Mother Earth News, as well as numerous guest articles for ACRES USA and other publications.

When he’s not on the road speaking, he’s at home on the farm, keeping the callouses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails, mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting local, regenerative food and farming systems.


QUESTION: Do you have chickens on your property? How many? And where are you keeping them? Are they for eggs, meat, or both/neither?


  1. jerry

    how to you prepare chickens for the winter. do they need a heat source all winter

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi Jerry, what part of the country do you live in? Chickens are essentially ‘jungle fowl’ and while they are very hardy they do need warmth in the colder climates. Here in Central Texas when it gets down into the teens on rare occasions, but it mostly in the 30’s or 40″s, during the winter, our free range chickens do just fine with out any protection.

      1. Allie

        This summit is chalk full of good information…thank you so much for putting it together! And thank you especially for having Joel Salatin on. I would love to hear what he was about to say at 20:09. Joel if you see this could you back up a bit listen to what you were saying and try to remember what you were about to say?
        Marjory your input was tremendously beneficial as well.
        So grateful that we can come here and benefit from all your experience and what you’ve learned as well.
        So thank you for passing it on to others. God bless.

    2. Deborah

      Here’s more info on chickens in winter —

      1. pamela

        thank you for this link

    3. John

      Chickens do not need a heat source in the winter as long as they don’t have a draft. Chickens are raised in Alaska without heat and I raise them here is Western Maine. Any chicken breed that is labeled as hardy heavy does just fine in the winter. Check out McMurray Hatchery’s info.

    4. Aubrey

      I am in Michigan and we have ~30 chickens and 7 ducks. For winter, you need to make sure they have an enclosed place to get out of the wind with a dry floor. You do not need to heat. You can insulate your building, even just stack with some straw bales to help keep the building a little warmer, if you want, but we don’t. Also ensure their water does not freeze. We have a heated base that works very well with a galvanized waterer.

      1. Marjory WIldcraft

        Thanks so much for that Aubry!

    5. Mary

      Unless you live in Canada, your chickens will do fine a a draft-free and dry coop and even there,i have heard of abundance of success.Joel talks extensively on several lectures he’s given and in his books about allowing your poultry to become acclimated to the cold and not to mention that majority of birds die from coop fires caused by heat lamps and heaters (carbon monoxide poisoning). If the poultry has a balanced diet, plenty of fresh unfrozen water and a dry, draft-free coop, they will be fine. It’s like gardening and plants, the right chicken for the right climate. You don’t keep bantams in colder climates and you don’t keep heavy breeder like Jersey giants in hotter climates. Keeping a deep litter bed is useful for so many reasons besides natural coop insulation.

  2. Kita

    Who many and what type of chickens are best to start with for laying eggs? High mountain, cold winter climate.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      I would suggest buying some grown hens that are ready to lay. You’ll get about 150 to 260 eggs per year from the hens, so count backwards with how much you’ll need for your size family. Plus you’ll want some to give away!

      Chickens are a flocking species and they do like to have numbers of friends around them.

      Hmm, which breeds do best in the North? The Livestock conservancy (Jeanette Berhinger) had a good presentation on different breeds in our last Summit, but you can also go to their website and get info there.

      Anyone who lives up north have suggestions?

      1. Kelly Lowe

        We live in Gloucester Massachusetts and so far our two breeds that are hardy for our area and lay well are the buff Orpington and the cuckoo means. We heard that the Rhode island reds are also fantastic layers. We also suggest beginning with pullets in the beginning so you get eggs quicker than with chicks. With pullets you will get eggs within three months.

    2. John

      I don’t think there is a published minimum number but I feel it is about 6 or 8. As to breeds, they need to be hardy or heavy. Check out the information on these breeds at McMurray Hatchery’s

      1. Marjory WIldcraft

        6 to 8 hens is a good number for a family of 4 – unless you have teenage boys!

    3. Lawren

      I live in the BC Interior, and use barred rocks, orpingtons, and wyndottes. These breeds stay close to home and withstand the cold well; mine free range and have an unheated coop. Started my flock with 4 hens and a rooster; not everyone likes to have a roo but I find that a good one protects the low status hens, especially when they are stuck in the coop during bad weather.

      1. Marjory WIldcraft

        Wow, I can’t imagine the interior of Canada….

        1. Jonathan

          The temperature drops to minus 40° here, due north of Ottawa. (at minus 40, degrees celsius and fahrenheit equal each other – either way, darn cold!)

          In 1907, a Trappist monk by the name of Brother Wilfrid Chatelain began his quest to breed an extremely cold-hearty bird that could tolerate our Canadian winters. In 1918, he presented to the public the Chantecler – a white dual-purpose bird with a small cushion comb and small wattles which don’t freeze in the winter. They’re also excellent free-rangers!

          As others have noted, best success is had by keeping the hens dry and free from draft. Heating the coop is not necessary.
          Although they slow down in egg production a bit when the temperature drops and the days get shorter, my girls happily keep me in eggs all winter.
          If they do complain about the cold, I tell them it’s warmer in the freezer, if they’d rather. That usually keeps them quiet.

          Excellent and informative talk.
          Thanks to both you and Joel.


    4. Mary

      Any of your Wyandottes and Jerseys will do fine along with a few other breeds. They will huddle closer when it’s cold and will gripe at each saying “don’t touch me” when it’s hot. Chickens are social animals and they need their flock because the pecking order is a reality in the poultry world. Pending on your location, I would suggest starting with a minimum of 6 to 8 and will leave room for unexpected loss by predators and natural causes. Things happen no matter how careful and protective you are. It’s not a matter of when but how? Some chickens just do some very stupid things. I’ll have to agree to disagree with others who state starting off with grown layers vs. chicks. By raising the chicks at the proper time of year and allowing them to grow in the environment they will be living in, they are more successful in acclimating to that environment at a much better rate and will be more successful. One must also take into account on when the chickens molt (aka lose their old feathers and grow their new ones). It’s kind of like other animals and how they grow their fur back for winter. Their bodies have a better chance at growing their feathers at the amount/rate they’ll need for the region they are living in.

  3. Stephanie Durham

    We are planning to have layers and meat birds in the Spring and have been learning and planning for over a year. We learned a great deal from Justin Rhodes. Loved Joel’s book “The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs”. We will be keeping them in our backyard…We have about an acre and a half of cleared land there. The plan is to have about 30 meat birds in a tractor just long enough to mature and process for the freezer, and about 12 layers. We are so excited to embark on this process to be connected to where our food comes from and to ensure that we are treating our animals right.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Oh, I just finished Joel’s book on the Pigness of Pigs – really good read. Anything he writes is good … LOL

    2. bea

      We just finished our last batch of meat chickens for the year. If you follow the path already laid out by folks like Joel Salatin you should be in great shape. The keys seem to be keeping everybody warm/dry and getting the birds outside to be on fresh grass/pasture daily. We used Kalmbach Starter Grower with one batch and Dumor from TSC for the other. Overall, I think the Kalmbach was better but we also fed that to the birds grown in cooler Sept/Oct. weather. We found a local Amish family that processes for us at 7-8 weeks. Yes, our cost per bird is higher but that is balanced for us by not having the capital outlay for the equipment. Best wishes! What a great way to spend time!

  4. melissa merritts

    I have 6 chickens, 5 hen and 1 rooster. They are golden laced wynnadotes, Americana, and Cornish cross. They are free range about 80% of the time. They are for egg and towards the end of their life for meat. They are a joy to have. And the Best eggs ever.

  5. Diane Deming

    fantastic amount of info. A little too much just gab making the segment a little too long

  6. Welsh

    I feel like Marjory keeps interrupting the speaker. That’s hard to listen to…..are we having a conversation or a speaker?

    I found a place in Loveland, CO that is called the AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY!!! I think of Joel every time b/c amalgamated is his word….or the place I heard it first! lol. haha!!

    1. Jason

      Oh my gosh driving me nuts about halfway through! I just want to listen to Joel talk ugh!!!

    2. Janice

      I agree. Marjory kept interrupting when I thought Joel had a thread he was developing.

  7. Ryan M. -Tallahassee

    I can’t get the video to play on any browser. Anybody else having that issue?

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Hi Ryan! This is usually due to either a slow connection speed or an outdated browser. Are you able to update your web browser?

      1. Ryan

        Everything’s updated. Connection isn’t that slow, although it is slower than at my own home. I click the play button and nothing happens.

        1. Chele

          Ryan, I just finished up the last of seven (yes, 7) summits in October before starting this one. I’ve found that the more folks trying to access the chats, the slower/spottier they are. Perhaps try during a time when less folks should be on. I have found that these talks are cutting in/out more often than six of the seven summits I finished. The issues with the one was clearly on their end.

    2. Martha

      I can’t get it to play either…

    3. Lori G.

      Yes, I can’t get it to play either and my browser is updated with high speed connection. I also could not get the one on buckskin clothing to play. I don’t think it is on our end.

  8. Bob

    This is the third presentation I have tried to view and it locks up half way threw each one. I wanted to view the greenhouse one and tried both last night and this morning, but the same problem occurred.

    1. Bob

      Content is very good, I wish I could finish looking at it.

      1. Jimerson (Post author)

        Hi Bob! This sounds like a slow or unstable network connection. It can help to pause the video and let it load, but you may want to contact your internet service provider to make sure your connection is stable.

  9. Florie

    Hi Joel, I have about 30 hens and lots of squabling cockerel, I began with the good intention of using all the excess cockerel for meat but I have no one to slauter them I hatched my own because I vaxcinate my birds and I have noticed they are healthier and live longer because they are not killed. Bought ones have a shorter life eventhough I am told they are vaxcinnated I have settled on colecting their eggs and the manure is what I am after. Recently I have put them behind an electric fence they are a lot happier and they eat less bought food, they forage on greenery and bugs in the soil and clear the soil and fertilise it for my garden. I have never tire of eating my chickens eggs as they are delicious.
    I occassionally feed them fermented grains and havent had to give them cider vinegar for a while.
    I have been watching some of your video for tips. Thank you

    Here in the uk our main predator are fox and rats.

  10. Barbara A Herron

    I learn something new every time I listen to Joel. I am not sure about the interaction using the phone. It was difficult to follow. We live in a village that allows only 4 chickens. We now have 3, they each lay an egg most days. They have a large run and a coop.

  11. Cindy

    When do the hens stop laying? I have some now that I think isn’t laying and I don’t know which one it is.

    1. Christina M Tucker

      Mine go into molt or stop laying a couple times a year. Especially as the days get shorter.

    2. John

      Hens stop laying when they molt and slow down as they get older. Put a door on the nesting box that closes when a hen goes in to lay an egg. You note the hen and let her out after she lays the egg. After you have noted which hens lay, you know what hens have stopped laying.

    3. Marjory WIldcraft

      Cindy, be sure to watch Jeanette Berhingers presentation late this week on “Build A Better Chicken” in that she shows you how to determine if you hens are laying. You feel the pelvis…

      1. Mary

        Marjory…Are you confusing feeling the pelvis for hens that are “egg bound” vs. hens that are just not producing much, if any, due to age, molt, time of year aka less sunlight, etc. If the hen is “egg bound”, yes it will feel hard. If it’s simply the later, you won’t feel anything because an egg has not been created.

  12. Kelly Lowe

    Thank you so much for the valuable information. We just started with chickens this year for eggs but we want to expand into meat birds as well. Mr.Salatin you are an inspiration!

  13. Jared

    Auto goes out near the end for about 5 minutes.

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Hello Jared! This might be due to a slow or unstable network connection. It can help to pause the video and let it load, but you may want to contact your internet service provider to make sure your connection is stable.

  14. Christina

    I have about 150 birds on a 12 acre farm. They are mostly rare breeds & I raise them organically for the eggs and future of the breed.(Pavs, Swedish black, flowers, isbars, Cemani, light sussex,bielefielders, sulmtalers, EE, etc) I would like to develop a more efficient system. Right now the organic feed and care is running me $10000mo and I am not making hardly anything at all. I am going broke with these birds. We tried cornish cross but the cold snap last week they piled on one another and 10/15 died. We have them in coops and we move them around the yard with the forks on the tractor. One house is way too big to move. We are thinking of putting them in a old barn for the winter. After reading your little handout- I am thinking of mobile chicken tractors for next year. I lost over 35 of my birds to neighbor dogs this year. I recovered $160 from about $1000 loss. Of course, it was the Cemani’s. Thanks for the information and looking forward to implementing in the Spring.

  15. Danno

    I love the idea of Sex linked chicks and now that I am hatching my own I would like to know the sex just based on color. Does it really work this way and is it hard to get the roosters matched up with the right hens to make it work?

    1. John

      Not when you put only them in a pen by themselves

  16. John

    I live in Western Maine and have raised Chickens for more years than I can remember. I think I first started when I was 8. I’m 67. It is surprising how much misinformation is out there and silly questions that are being asked that can be correctly answered with a little research. I love and have raised Jersey Giants, Plymouth Rock, Australorps, Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Ameraucanas, Black Star, Red Star, Barred and Buff Rocks. I have even tried raising some capons – unsuccessfully. The offspring of these crosses have all been very productive and interesting. I learned that I really needed to not worry about anything. They take care of themselves. They all free ranged and all I had to do was provide the coop, water and supplemental feed. No heat. Leaves only for floor litter which was cleaned out every spring for tilling into the ‘kitchen’ garden. And, of course, being in Maine, they were inside the coop always when snow was on the ground.

    Marjory, you really were a distraction in this presentation. I could not understand half of what you said when you were laughing and most of your comments I thought were inappropriate. This was a learning presentation not a private conversation between you and Joel. I wish you had just asked your questions to help Joel move the presentation along and let Joel speak. Your over talking Joel was very disturbing.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      John, point taken. I see several other comments along this vein. I’ll correct that next time.
      Yes, the audio connections wasn’t that good either…

  17. thomas

    Videos won’t play in either Chrome or Firefox.

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Hi Thomas! If you have not had luck getting the videos to play, please refresh your browser and try again. Let me know if you have further issues!

  18. mike leblanc

    we have 103 cornish cross about 6 days old lost one so far im wondering if my feed is too high protein its a 28 game starter some are messy tailed is there a additive that would help w this? i am putting garlic and acv in water i stopped the molasses because i thouhgt it may have caused the runs?

  19. odie

    It would be nice to have certain words and names (names of breeds for example) on the screen since its hard to understand what is being said at times.
    It would be more helpful than pictures. Thanks

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi Odie, oh that is a good suggestion. We will do that next time.

  20. Marilyn Blessum

    Would have given it 5 stars were it not for Margery’s too frequent interruptions, conversation, personal anecdotes and giggling. Tuned in to hear what Joel had to say. Please, Margery, let the speakers have the floor.

    1. Chele

      Greens can be grown indoors in a sunny window and fed daily. Google Fodder Systems or search MEN’s site as I know they have at least one article there.

  21. Annie Medic

    HOw do suggest getting greens to chickens in the northeast during the winter?

    1. John

      Do sprouting. It is very cheap and very easy. Believe it or not, sprouting is cheaper than purchasing organic feed. Check this youtube:

      It lets my chicken’s eggs have the deepest orange yolk. Very organic too but don’t forget to feed back the eggs shells or oyster shells

  22. mike leblanc

    about the cornish question i posted..they all have grown quite alot in 6 days this is our 1st time raising these type of birds we have raised 100’s of heritage breeds in past usually by smaller lots weve seen and delt with pasty butts before (cleaning by hand..yay!…) but these are not looking plugged up like other breeds did.hopefully not goin to have to wipe 100+chicken rears. also i have enjoyed so far all the talks i have watched.any response or tips woud be greatly appreciated

    1. Nana

      Mike, we battled pasty butt one year with our baby guineas and a couple of broilers. After much research, we learned to add unflavored high quality yogurt (homemade, if possible), milk kefir, raw apple cider vinegar or whey to their water. It’s full of probiotics. Keeping their bedding clean is a must. We also start the babies on chick starter. Hope this helps. I know what a challenge this is…..wishing you the best~

      1. mike leblanc

        thank you for those tips! i have been using the acv and garlic in water i will try the yogurt have some homemade goatmilk yogurt that will surely help.also putting fresh herbs oregano lemonbalm rosemary etc. also using pine needles for bedding over the chips for deep bedding. how early would you recomend greenery?ive beeen putting some weeds and grass in every day since day2 . thanks!

  23. odie

    Predators: we are new to raising chickens and ignorantly found a great solution that works. All our neighbors cant keep chickens without being devoured by hawks, fox, and coyotes during the day.
    To give our birds more room, we let them out in the day in a 1/2 acre area closed off by that orange construction netting/fencing. i watch hawks get my dove and redbirds in my front yard, but just our in the back yard, they wont go near my chickens surrounded by the orange fencing!

    1. D Berry

      I have my birds (30 birds) in a large fenced pasture. We have hot wire around the top and bottom of the fenceing for protection against predators. We have solved our hawk and eagle problem by stringing fishing line across the top of the fencing about every 2-3 feet. The hawk will start to land, but when it sees the line, it pulls up. Make sure the distance between the lines are smaller the the distance of the predator birds wing span. It is a pain to have to walk under the line, but we have not lost a bird since doing this.

  24. Krista

    I’m not able to get the video to play on my Mac or mobile. 🙁

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Krista, have you tried using the Chrome browser?

  25. mike leblanc

    joel… do your cornish chicks get pasted up ever ? are there any things that will reduce this problem ? anything that will make it worse to avoid? not many of 100+ have it but hoping to avoid any more getting it thankyou for any tips god bless

    1. Heather

      Hi Mike. May I answer this with what I have found works for me? I am sure Joel will have a more knowledgeable answer for you, but here is what I’ve found to work. And I’ve raised a few Cornish Cross too. I always start with a good chick starter, not the meat bird food. When they get a good start, then switch. Maybe around 3-4 weeks. Adding just a little baking soda to the chicks water has been suggested to help with the messy rears, and sometimes this has worked for me, other times doesn’t seem to. Could be different formulations of food? I usually take them one by one and wash their rears with warm running water, and make sure to get all the mess off. Dry thoroughly with paper towel, stick them back under the heat lamp. Usually, I don’t ever have to reapeat that process. I know….what a pain to do it with 100 birds! Hopefully not all of them will need it. And the ones that do, generally don’t need it more than once. By the way, congratulations on only one loss! That’s actually rather terrific!

  26. Robin

    I wish this had been a presentation and not an interview. Love Joel’s presentations but did not enjoy this as much since he was being interrupted.

  27. Phil

    Marjory, your continual interruption is distracting.

  28. Kate Johansson

    Marjory Wildcraft: I just heard you say that the chicken poop on pine shavings is great in the garden. Someone recently told me that cedar shavings kill a garden. Is that not true in your experience? Or is cedar different than pine? Thanks so much!

    1. Heather

      Cedar is different from pine. Stronger oils in the wood.

      1. Kate Johansson

        So, Heather, would you nix the idea of using cedar shavings in the garden? The reason I ask is that a friend offered her shavings, but they are cedar. Should I just not use them?

        1. V

          Cedar takes a lot longer to break down than pine.

          But shavings, I think pine, can also be tainted with something (Sorry I can’t recall what — it’s deliberately saturated with something as a way of disposing that stuff. Ask about it a feed store.)

        2. mike leblanc

          cedar supposedly is toxic to chickens but also toxic to mites. chips make good bedding because it lasts longer than pine if the chips are big so they cant eat em and the floors not soooo dry that its not dusty so they dont breath it its good. just dont throw it straight to the garden when you clean the coop,let it really compost out with some other material.get all you can!

          1. Mary

            Mike…you are right. Cedar is a NO for any kind of poultry, game or waterfowl bedding, etc. TSC sells pine “fine” shavings like for the boxes and the pine “soft flake” which is bigger/thicker. Honestly, I use the flakes and my gals are none the wiser 🙂 In autumn, I take the riding mower and shred the leaves (lots of oak & hickory) and put that in for bedding and boxes. It takes all winter to break down and Harvey Insert aka “the chicken whisper” recommends that for the deep bedding. Best part, it’s free

            1. Mary

              dang auto-correct…its Harvey Ussery vs. Harvey Insert

    2. Marjory WIldcraft

      I’ve been using those pine shavings with chicken poop for years and it is great. Now cedar… I don’t know.

  29. Heather

    We’ve raised at least three batches of Cornish Cross. The first two batches (only about 30 birds) we didn’t lose any at all. I watch them very closely for the first week or two, the second I see any that look like they are hunched, or having difficulty breathing, we put vitamins/electrolyte in the water following proportion directions semi-closely. If I see one that’s a bit more ill acting, I have mixed and fed by dropper antibiotic. Didn’t lose a one in the first two batches. The third batch (more distant hatchery, less cooperation from the post office) we lost 3 within the first three days. Then that was all….until about five days later. Then we lost another two…I started looking them over and decided they needed quick antibiotic. Fed by dropper to the couple or three that looked hunched/labored breathing. They all survived from that point on. Vitamins/electrolyte in the water. Only have to give the antibiotic for a day, maybe two. Big meaty tasty birds on butcher day! Best payoff ever!

    Marjory, I agree with a few of the other comments here. I appreciate your knowledge in your areas of interest, but I wish you would not have interrupted Mr. Salatin as he was answering some of the questions. I feel we missed some good tips, as he was sidetracked by your comments.

  30. k

    Too much Margery and not enough Joel

  31. mike leblanc

    thanks for bird tips although im not going with antibiotics at all.just molasses for vitamins and acv with the mother and fresh oregano in waterer.lost just1 out of 104 so far. hope to keep the loss in the 10 to 5% or less of course. on the wood chips all wood goes back to soil eventually with time. God has no landfill in outerspace for all the cedar and walnut chips!dont use em till ther done being hot

  32. m schroeder

    let the man talk

  33. mike leblanc

    has anyone had problems with too high protein from day old? this is about birds rite?

  34. mike leblanc

    thanks on the bakin soda idea hadnt thought of that.ive also given them some fermented grains but not much yet. i did start them on 28% so i could cut some otheer feeds in and not lose too much %

  35. Jean

    Joel never disappoints with his ability to communicate excellently what he has discovered through long-term experience! I appreciate how he never looses sight of the small scale family operation while telling how to scale up if desired. One disappointment for me in this segment has been addressed by earlier commenters. The second was the pictures seemed to be unrelated to the presentation. If anyone has their electric netting “installed” like the ones pictured they will be wondering why it isn’t working! I wish the pictures had been from Mr. Salatin”s farm.

  36. Zach

    Great info. Thanks Margery and Joel.

  37. Rick

    Marjory, Thanks for putting this together. I always enjoy listening to Joel, and I’ve learned something new every time.
    Marjory, your comments and laughter were disruptive. As the facilitator/host you need to keep the presentation moving, but unfortunately, you tended to slow it down and interrupted Joel just when it seemed he was going to pass on something really good. The Home Grown Food Summit had much less interaction between you and the speaker. Personally, I prefer that format.

  38. Angie

    This was very interessing. I am very new on the place. Iwould love to have writen in the picture, the races of the Chickend ,Thank you so much

  39. Ronald Jay Shepherd

    With so many birds, you must have A LOT of feathers. What do you do with them? Is there an eco friendly way to use/dispose them?

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi Ronald, I compost them with lots of browns.

  40. Donna

    Very helpful for this novice! Thank you!

  41. Malcolm

    Let him talk!

    With the greatest respect … Joel is the expert, and it is him we want to hear.

    Sorry but it is a common error for many presenters to insert themselves … especially when the expert is more than capable of getting the information across efficiently (and has doubtless done it countless times before)

  42. sean

    could have been a good show IF, IF, the overly chatty women had not spoken and just let Joel speak

    1. Kate Johansson

      I find a lot of value in the exchange. Ms. Wildcraft has a lot of her own experience and I feel a better energy when there is actually an exchange during an interview. Otherwise the presenter could just sit and do a soliloquy for an hour. I think they were awesome together!

      1. mike leblanc

        i agree this was an interveiw ..rite? there again this is about birds rite? good info.. im ok with listening hard and doing a bit of research also

  43. Deb Casey

    I loved Joel’s presentation!

  44. Diane

    I think was intended to be a Q&A session focusing on topics from his book. Enjoyed and learned stuff too. Thanks

  45. Chocolatmarie

    Hello, Thank you for this!

  46. Sunshine

    This would have been a great interview IF the speaker was really able to talk. The interviewer spent more time regaling her own stories. I would have liked to heard Joel more!

  47. Peggy

    please let Joel talk more…

  48. Yolanda

    This interview was done over the phone at an earlier date. It was meant to be informative for all levels of interest in raising chickens with the interaction of the interviewer with the speaker.

    Both Marjory and Joel did a great job and I know that I took a lot away from it.

  49. Joan Gray

    I have 12 laying hens, several different breeds. I let them free range 1/2 of the day, mostly so that they lay the eggs in the pen. I am toying with the idea of raising some fowls for meat, but I am not sure that I am ready to jump into that yet.

  50. Sandy

    I think you said you use poultry netting around laying hens and turkeys on pasture setting. How do you keep them from trying to fly out? clip wings? If so, are they more prone to attack from raptors?

  51. Brian Handrich

    I just got started with ducks (trio of muskovies) in my backyard. Eventually, I’ll need to “process” the excess drakes. Does the poutlryman processor / featherman machine work for ducks? can / should ducks be pastured too?


    I’d really like a presentation on developing quality pasture. Especially focusing on dry land areas!

  53. Betty Blazic

    Love the notes. Don’t have time to listen to such a long dissertation. I need to get to the point. I can’t imagine pasture chickens as we have animals to kill them in the daylight and eat them at night.

  54. NolaM

    There are specific breeds that have a double down component to their feathers.
    Partridge chanticler and americauna’s I’ve has both had this.
    One feather quill and two feathers on it. One shorter and downy.
    The biggest problem in the cold is combs freezing.
    They both have smaller cushion style combs.
    Not losing heat from combs is part of the issue.

    Quail chicks lose a lot of warmth from their feet.
    I imagine chickens are the same.
    I know my hens love having clean dry feet.
    So providing warm dry bedding, wood perches, are important.
    Keep in mind that if you want eggs In the north,
    You have to supplement light anyway. Might as well add some heat.

    Conversely, we also provide a boot tray full of water in the shade in summer.
    They love to stand in their pool and preen.

    I like what was mentioned about greens.
    In mid canada, I leave kale broccoli and Brussels sprout plants in the garden.
    In the middle of winter, the leaves are very popular with the girls.
    Yeah, they freeze, then they continue to grow into spring.
    It’s only the chronic spring warmth that rots the stem.
    By then, the chard, beets, carrots you have left in are growing.

    One thing, I have a plant starter pad that I put under the chick tub.
    That allows them to burrow down to the warmth at night.
    If you turn off the light and let them sleep at night,
    I think it let’s them get into the cycle of emptying their crop,
    Develops healthy guts and eating patterns.
    The first few nights I get them up once to have a drink and snack,
    Add a snugly teddy bear to snuggle up and hide under.
    Fill a few water bottles with hot water and put them in a sweater sleeve.
    Takes 40 seconds in a microwave to reheat.
    You get chicks that are a lot like hen raised. Calm, happy, fun.
    To have the lights on 24/7 makes them psycho and stressed.
    Birds are light triggered. Hormones, growth, life cycles.
    Like the rest of life on this planet.
    The current ‘industry standard care’ is not logical.
    Do any research into growth and you figure that out.
    Plants, babies and teenagers all grow predominantly at night.
    Poultry are the exception? Face palm.

    One more thing.
    Wild Quail pick up critical gut micro organisms from older bird’s fecies.
    So I don’t clean too much the first couple of weeks.
    Let them walk in the water and swamp up a little.

  55. Dan

    I wish Marjory would let Joel talk more and stop interrupting him! very unpleasant and kind of rude, you get some one to talk on a summit, let the man talk!
    The interview was great besides that.

  56. MeanJean

    I just wanted to say thank you for these wonderful presentations!
    In defense of Marjory in regards to the interruption comments– could it be the lag time that is inherent in a phone interview and the confusion of one person not being able to physically telecast to the other person when they want to speak? Does that make sense?
    IMHO, it was like two old friends talking…throughly enjoyed the talk!

  57. Jon

    I wonder if you employ any natural farming/Korean Farming practices. Much of what you do follows along those lines such as your land management and such.

    It does my heart well to see this talk. Thank you!

  58. Jon

    I am also interested in the nutritional difference between your chickens and eggs compared to factory raised chickens and eggs all things equal.

    Is this a possible thing to measure or do they act like everything fits the fda numbers.

  59. Wenona

    This is novice info…..NOT intermediate!

    1. Donna Nielsen

      I’m not a total novice, have been raising chickens for several years, but I learned a whole lot to help me do even better.

  60. Donna Nielsen

    Here in Colorado my chickens seem to enjoy being outside in the winter, even on snow, as long as I put down straw or hay or woodchips for them to stand on.

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