When we started with our permaculture farm, we wanted to have chicken as they play a big part in a homestead.
We thought that this is going to be an easy task, we will just go to town and buy some... but all we found were poor, sick creatures ready to be killed. Especially at chicken farms, they looked so miserable that we never wanted to eat mass produced chicken again!
In Sri Lanka it’s very hard to find *organic certified* chicken, so we were told if we want something close to organic we best go to villages and ask for village chicken.
What are village chicken?
Village chicken in Sri Lanka are totally "free range", but actually we should call them "free street chicks" as they are running up and down the roads and just come home at night. Because the chicken are out all day, we could only go to the owners to buy them in the evenings when the chicken sat still in their coop.
Buying village chicken
But obviously in the evening you cannot see whether some chicken behave weak or have a walking issue. Whenever we went to get chicken from villages in the evening it was sure, we would only get sold a weak one, either they haven’t laid an egg or just wasn’t doing well.
Antibiotics in chicken feed
Even village chicken are often fed with ready made food that you can buy in the animal feed shops. Unfortunately this food also contains antibiotics.
Bringing new grown up chicken to your home
As soon as the new bought village chicken came to our home, we stopped feeding them with ready made food. This was kind of a struggle as they suddenly have to relay on their own immune system which they haven’t used since they were born, as they got antibiotics in their food since born.
How to increase a flock of healthy chicken
Many of our new grown up village chicken couldn’t survive while others luckily made it when we stopped giving antibiotic filled food to them. The once surviving grew to strong healthy chicken now laying beautiful eggs. We started to collect these eggs and gave them to a hen as soon as she started to breed.
And from there onward we could slowly increase our chicken family with strong little chicken with no more dependency on ready made food.
Natural enemies of chickens
Our happiness sometimes gets suddenly interrupted when we hear a loud scream from the coop. Yes. This was an alarm from the cock: Another mungo, another snake or waran was visiting the stable eating all the new borns...
Our secret method for tasty and plenty eggs
You can see having chicken is not easy, but with every loss of a chicken, you learn how to protect your chicken better for the next time. And every egg we eat is a new cherishing moment. We feel like there are no better eggs in this world. Maybe it’s because of all the chili we give them to eat (which makes them produce more eggs), we don’t know...
But the eggs just taste nourishing and are not an empty food husk like the eggs we get from mass chickens in supermarkets.
Catch up with us and our lovely egg-laying friends on our Instagram :-)