Signs of spring

| April 20, 2011
John Vollmer owns Bluegrass Organics, which sells chickens.

John Vollmer owns Bluegrass Organics, which sells chickens.

Spring is here, and one rather appropriate way to welcome spring is to buy chickens, since doing so will benefit not only your wallet, but also your garden.

John Vollmer, owner of Bluegrass Organics, at 2920 Frankfort Ave., recently purchased baby chickens from a Minnesota hatchery to sell at his shop. Since economic hard times continue to persist, he purchased these chickens knowing they would provide people with a bit of financial relief at the grocery store when they start laying eggs in about 20 to 24 weeks.

Chickens, however, are not only advantageous in their ability to produce organic eggs with unparalleled freshness. They are extremely advantageous to your garden also. They are excellent for pest and weed control and supply nitrogen-rich manure to fertilize your soil.

“Let them loose in your garden,” Vollmer said. “They’ll take advantage of the food chain.” Because chickens have essentially no restrictions when it comes to diet, they can recycle your leftover food scraps, too.

Chickens generally do not require much care or space. Therefore, practically anyone can raise them. Kentucky law allows for residents to own a maximum of one crowing chicken and five non-crowing chickens. Vollmer advises purchasing at least four or five chickens to ensure you get an ample supply of eggs.

Since chickens are extremely fragile when they are babies, it is essential to keep them in a strongly built cage, especially if you have a household pet. In addition, baby chickens must be kept warm for the first few weeks. A light bulb or simple heat lamp is sufficient in providing them with the heat needed.

photos by AIMEE KUVADIA | contributing photographer

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