I have raised checkens for many years but when Covid hit, I tried to order more and found that everbody was sold out. Sensing I had become too dependant on the centralized economy to provide everything, I stopped eating our eggs and started hatching them.
I built a large incubator that could handle hundreds of eggs and started a new tray each week.
Before long I had babies running around.
And we had a little help from some of our mama hens.
Six months later, I had my first generation of laying hens to sell.
We have also started eating our own chickens instead of the store-bought ones, which has been very satisfying. Our pasture-raised Wyandottes taste much better than the factory farmed birds we were used to. Beware of the hybrid broiler that cannot breed. The cornish-cross broilers are a bad idea in my opinion. They cannot self-reproduce and independantly sustain your flock. You will always be dependant on ordering new chicks. What happens when demand for them doubles? Ramping up chick production takes 6 months to a year. You might find them unobtainable. For thousands of years, we have raised chickens that reproduced on their own and gave us eggs and meat.
Going forward, my goal is to grow the majority of our chicken feed. I am currently using free range and sprouted grain but I worry that even organic grain farmers have been found to use Glyphosate. I will be planting a number of crops that can sustain chickens through the winter if possible.