When the chaos dies down and you're sick of canned food, what will your long term plan be?

How many chickens will you need?

Posted on July 17th, by Kathy in Becoming a Farmer. Comments Off on How many chickens will you need?

How many chickens will you need?

In preparation for the apocalypse, you’d like to raise your own meat… however, you’re not ready to start with something as large as a cow or a pig.  Chickens may be the answer for you (IF you live in an area without bears… see our posts about raising chickens in Colorado).  Mob grazing with cows is a really big deal for farmers and ranchers right now because it uses cattle to improve the soil and forage. This is a very good thing if you’re putting up a zombie proof fortress and don’t want to move frequently. Turns out you can do it with chickens too… and not only can they be your meat source, but they lay eggs!!

Forrest Prichard, a Virginia farmer, uses electric netting to create long narrow stretches of pasture that chickens can graze and trample as effectively as other livestock graze and trample their larger pastures.  The electric fences protect the chickens from foxes, coyotes, opossums, skunks and raccoons and the long, narrow shape of the pastures makes it difficult for raptor predators to nab prey as well (notice bears are not on that list).

Forrest shares tips on how to teach even so-called lazy birds, like the fast-growing meat birds, to graze as a mob.  He also shares how he sets up his pasture rotations and how he rests the pastures to make sure that all the nutrients the birds leave behind go toward improving the soil and making great forage. Meet Forrest and his 1,000 birds through his great video: Free Range Chickens, Smith Meadows Style.  Forrest talks about his free-range egg-laying operation, with quick looks at the feeders, the guard dog, and the hutches he uses. All you need to know to start your free range post-apocalypse chicken operation.

Forrest Prichard just released his book Gaining Ground about his experience saving the family farm. You can read the first chapter here (at our sister site  OnPasture.com). 

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