Organic Consumers Association

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How to Raise Healthy, Happy and Long-Lived Backyard Chickens

Today I’m discussing all things chicken with Grover Stock. Grover is an organic food farmer-consultant, lecturer and program instructor at the Permaculture Skills Center, and he’s speaking with me from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he’s attending the biennial conference for the Biodynamics Association of North America.

Today, they’re covering the concept of sacred agriculture, and the next few days will be spent “discussing things around the biodynamic movement and the different way to treat agriculture,” according to Grover.

Grover has been involved in healing the earth for decades — it’s his passion, and he’s doing amazing work. And, of course, animals are an integral part of the sustainability of the planet. I invited Grover to talk with us about chickens — not chickens used in food production, but backyard chickens.

Backyard Chickens Need Daily Attention Just Like Any Other Pet

People are realizing how interesting, fun and helpful it can be to raise chickens, and I’ve had a lot of requests from Healthy Pets visitors to publish an article or two on chicken husbandry. That’s why I decided to contact Grover.

“I’ve been keeping chickens on and off for 30 or 35 years,” says Grover. “Chickens are fun. You used a word there that’s a really good word to use when it comes to any kind of a domestic animal — husbandry.

When we take responsibility for little critters like this, it becomes a bit like a marriage.

It’s really important to make sure you’re serious about having the time to pay attention to the little animals, to the chickens especially. They need daily attention.”

That’s a great point. Chickens aren’t widely respected. The perception is that they’re dumb. In my opinion, they’re one of the most exploited animals on earth, and certainly when it comes to factory farming. My first introduction to a chicken was at the humane society in Waterloo, Iowa where I worked many years ago.

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