About Us

Thank you for stopping by! My name is Leigh. I am a writer, journalist and information mining freak by trade, a full-time mother of three crazies kids, by choice, and now I am also a chicken keeper… the perfect prescription for my ever-dwindling sanity. 

When I decided I wanted chickens, I set about researching and learning all I could about these feathery critters. In doing so, I have been blessed to meet some of the most wonderful and knowledgeable people around!

This blog is frequently updated with informational articles written by regular guest bloggers like Vicki, Sue, Karen, Tom, Chrissy in CA and others who are  long-time chicken keepers. 

"Bee" wrote a huge number of the earlier posts on this blog, including the amazing story of the Gnarly Bunch. We are so very thankful for all that Bee has contributed to this blog and wish her well in all her future endeavors!

As well as doing the editing, managing and organizing of this blog, I also write some of the pieces using information I have learned from this wonderful group of people.

The photos you will see scattered throughout the blog posts come from shutterbugs in our own ranks (credit will be given below each photo), from images with expired copyrights and from me.

Are you looking for specific information? Please check out our Index tab for a list of subjects we have already blogged about. If you have any questions or would like to see a certain Natural Chicken Keeping subject covered on our blog, feel free to email me at: shabbychicken@hotmail.com and our “panel of eggsperts” will try to answer them for you.

You can also “talk to us” and ask questions on our forum – Join us HERE.

And be sure to “Like” us on FaceBook – yet another place you can ask questions!

We hope to see you again soon!



  1. Hi, great fermented feed article.

    Just wanted to let you know that after I read your article, and googled for more, I came across a site which appears to have lifted quite a bit of your material.

    It could be just me, however it really felt like I was re-reading your article, from a high-level synopsis point of view.

    I realize you may not care, however I emailed the author and asked her if giving at least a cite or link to your site would kill her.

    Haven't read any of her other blogs/articles, however I somehow think this sort of cribbing is what blogging is now.
    I guess thats one way to win an award...

    Cheers, and keep up the excellent work at providing some real intellectual depth to your articles.

    1. Fred - thank you for your concern and your compliment to our blog. I read the article in question, (found Here) and while it does seem that it could possibly be a recreation of our own article on fermenting, we are going to take the high road on this one and simply say we are happy to see people are reading and affording their own chickens a healthier life. Yes - it certainly would have been nice to at least get a mention.
      We at Natural Chicken Keeping will continue to strive to provide, good, well researched articles and hopefully by doing so our own readership and sponsor base will grow. Anyone coming across both articles in the same day will see the approximate dates both went live - either at the top or in the comments - and come to their own conclusions.
      Thank you so very much for being one of our readers, and we hope you will suggest our blog to others interested in a more natural approach to chicken keeping.

    2. FYI: I was looking for information on dealing with chicken mites and saw your article on "Natural Way to Rid Chickens of Lice & Mites". Don't know if you realize but the bottom of the page and all the comments are blocked out with a large yellow "screen". I have never seen this before on a blog. Mike from Virginia

    3. Mike - thank you for letting me know! I think I have the problem fixed now. I sure appreciate it when readers alert me to issues like this.

  2. This looks like a very helpful site. Too bad I can not read the articles because of the pop ad blocking the text. Doesn't seem to be a way for me to move or close them. Please fix this.

    1. Kris - please let me know exactly which articles are having issues - provide links so that I can quickly fix them. So sorry for the trouble!

  3. Hi there love this site having trouble accessing the "talk to us" option keeps popping up as error. I hope it's ok to ask a question here. Recently purchased day old chicks and they were vaccinated without my knowledge or request the only way I found out was it was declared on the side of the box when I received them. I'm so upset I personally would not have chosen this option we only keep chickens for our family. I'm so torn and really don't peronally feel comfortable consuming something from a chicken that's been vacced any advice? Thanks so much!

    1. It's perfectly fine to ask questions here. =)
      I'm sorry you had this little surprise. Do you know what they were vaccinated for? My guess is Marek's Disease.
      If that is the case, it is perfectly harmless for you and your family to consume those chickens or their eggs. Marek's is a chicken-only disease, and while I know we all want to live as organically as possible, there *should* not be anything in that vaccine that would harm you or add to your heavy metal or toxin load.
      If you still feel uncomfortable with those chicks, you can always sell them locally and buy some unvaccinated ones.

    2. Leigh thank you so much for your quick reply! Yes I was very surprised it was never disclosed to me or listed anywhere when I purchased and while I want to support farms over hatcheries I was upset this happened without my knowledge or consent. Yes it was mareks and when I double checked with the farm they said I had no choice in the matter they have an "all or nothing" policy wish I was told about this prior I would have found another source. Very upset to say the least. I don't know I've had trouble finding much on the ingredient specifics I feel uncomfortable about the fungicide and antibiotics in it as well and feel bad for the chicks! I feel bad selling them but I'm not sure about the vacc it concerns me a lot. Have you ever owned vaccd chicks? Im so torn I hate to get rid of them but I feel uncomfortable with the vaccs. :/ thanks so much Leigh

    3. Also Leigh is it safe for a new batch of chicks to be in the same space as the vacced chicks were should I choose to replace them? Does the vacc sges do you know? Sorry for all the questions this has me very stressed as you can probably tell thanks so much for the input!

  4. Hello , Leigh
    Can I feed my quails with fermented grains
    Sergio Coelho

    1. Sergio - yes! You can certainly feed fermented grains to your quail.

  5. We have 8 chickens and 16 guineas. We feed all these feather cuties laying feed. Do the guineas need that yet or not? If not what should they eat? They all share a large yard to run around in, so if I were going to sprout seed for all of them, what would I buy to sprout?
    How much seed would you sprout for them and is this daily?
    I know I asked a lot. If you don't have time to answer I completely understand. This was my first time to your sight. Awesome! I shall be back and bring friends with me. Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

  6. Hi Bulldogma ( Leigh )
    I have some questions :
    For 200 Chickens hen layer, which size of Greenhouse or room space for breed I will need ?
    For sleep them,which is the measure of the perches ? 12 or 18 inches ?
    thanks ,,, --Jorge .....jvalera954@aol.com


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