Farmside Supplies hosts chat about chicks

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  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKE Bryana Reis discusses all subjects related to the successful raising of spring chicks.

  • Some new arrival chicks mingle at Farmside Supplies.

Farmside Supplies in Sussex sponsored a Chick Chat session on Saturday March 17, informing new and established chicken raisers of the joys of being a chicken farmer.

Bryana Reis, a representative for animal food company Nutrena, shared her expertise with about 25 interested attendees. Reis, a graduate of Delaware Valley University, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science, owns and operates a 12-acre farm in Pennsylvania, raises various breeds of chickens and other poultry and offers equine boarding.

She began her Power Point presentation with a little levity. Reis showed a YouTube video called The Hazards of Backyard Hens, a humorous narrative of the “addiction” of raising chickens. The narrator revealed how as you begin raising chickens you come to understand their cuteness, then you give your chicks individual names, exchange photos on Facebook, expand your flock, start acquiring other animals like goats, cows and cattle and on and on until you become a full-fledged farmer. Many in the audience laughed and agreed wholeheartedly, understanding the attraction.

As the talk continued, Reis provided an information hand-out, touching on the start-up of raising chicks, proper nutrition, housing and the avoidance of poultry diseases. Also discussed were the three types of chickens that can be raised. There are chickens raised strictly for meat, mainly egg layers and a dual-purpose chicken. Obviously, the dual-purpose chicken is the most popular of the backyard birds. It is a hardy, large bird like the Rhode Island Red.

The average layer will produce 23 dozen in the chicken’s first year. A healthy hen will lay for two to four years.

“I plan on adding Buckeye chickens to my flock this year,” Reis said.

According to Reis, Buckeye chickens are red in color, free range and were developed in Ohio by a woman.

“These chickens are incredible mouse catchers,” she added.

The chicken seminar concluded with more basic poultry facts and a raffle of chick related items. Reis will conduct a second seminar at Farmside in April called Gardening with Chickens.

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