Chicken Farming

A healthy hobby
By Patrick Cutsforth

Recently I told my history class teacher that we were butchering our chickens. He was surprised by that, because he grew up in a big city and thinks all chickens were raised by Colonel Sanders, or grow in grocery stores on little plastic trays. Then I found almost all the kids in my class don't know what it's like to raise chickens, let alone butchering them.

Photo courtesy of taliesin/

My name is Patrick Cutsforth. I am a 14-year-old student from Cambria, Wis. My family has been raising chickens for generations. We like raising our own chickens because we like the taste of fresh eggs every morning and we are willing to do the work for that. My parents think it is good for me and my brother to have some responsibilities. Also, chickens are just interesting. They all have different personalities, like some you could just walk up to and pick them up, but others will run away and you can't get anywhere near them.

A lot of people these days are trying to raise chickens in town because there is more nutrition and everyone likes the fresh taste of homegrown eggs. The eggs you buy at the store are just not the same. Some people with bigger chicken farms usually sell the eggs for extra income. If you eat a fresh egg and then eat an egg from the store, you will never want a store egg again.

I would just like to remind people that you have to be somewhat dedicated to do this. You have to wake up in the morning to collect eggs, give them water, and once in a while clean the coop. You should also have a safe coop, because in the area I live there are a lot of coyotes.

Not every year is the same, so you never know what to expect. For example, usually we don't feed ours, but last year when it was so dry we had to throw some cracked corn out for them.

This is a fascinating hobby. I would encourage people to consider raising for fun or even profit.

Patrick Cutsforth is a student from Wisconsin. Send your letters to