I don't know about you, but I often look online to research things. Gone are the days of heading to the library and finding a book on a subject or looking in an encyclopedia for answers. We have Google, where you can type anything into the search bar, and Boom! the answer is right there. Sometimes, the answers are conflicting! Quite often, an opinion is given instead of facts, and I discovered this while researching chickens. While trying to learn what things are okay to feed chickens, I went to google for answers. I read through some blogs and some forum on raising and feeding chickens. Many people said to never give chickens tomatoes, they will be poisoned and could die! After doing some research, I discovered that I could give them ripe, red tomatoes, but not green tomatoes or the plant itself. Since I had given my chickens some red tomatoes the day before, I was relieved to see that I had not poisoned my beloved chickens!
This spring, I began designing a new chicken coop and run. I was trying to figure out how big I needed to build the enclosed run. I again went to Google to find out how much space is needed. I also went to the Facebook group for chickens that I am a member of, looking for answers. Wow! So many people have opinions on how much space a chicken requires in an enclosed run. The answers I found varied greatly, ranging from 8 square feet to 15 square feet per chicken. Some people feel it is cruel to not let chickens "free-range" and anyone who disagreed was quickly told how wrong they are for choosing otherwise! Personally, I choose to not free-range because I want to protect my chickens from predators. I often hear coyotes howling, I know there are racoons on my property, and I always see several hawks over head when I am outside. In fact, last week, there were 7 hawks circling over my chicken coop! I tried to take a photo, but they are fast! I have found that people often give advice or tell others what to do based on what they have heard to be true and not because they know it to be true.
The internet is full of forums, blog posts, articles, advice columns, journals, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, and more. It is important to seek out information from a trustworthy source. Often, we seek out advice from someone who is doing the same things we are. If they are doing it, they must know what they are doing, right? Well, not necessarily. I Have been raising chickens for a few years, but I am not an expert. However, I will often share what has worked for me. Sometimes, we are simply looking for tips and tricks, and fellow homesteaders often have some great advice.
I wanted to address this confusing advice issue and let you know that I will only share what I have learned to be truthful, or what I have learned from experience. I use this blog as a way to share information about running a homestead. I will do my best to always make sure that what I post is accurate. I am always learning; I love trying new ideas for sewing, gardening, farming, and running my homestead more efficiently.