Raising Chickens

Being a city gal, I don’t know anything about raising chickens but I am learning. My friend Cedo has chickens in her yard for eggs, and she recently bought some chicks that she will raise for meat.

There was a particular kind she wanted, and it seems the best place to get them is in Concepcion on Tuesday mornings. So, this last Tuesday we piled in the car and headed over. (They are not allowed on the bus so it’s either a car or taxi when you are carrying chicks. I’m not sure why since it seems pretty much anything else is allowed on buses. But, no chicks, and no fish)

Cedo bought 30 of the white (currently yellow) day old chickens, and four of another brown variety just to try them and see how they do.

When we got back to the house, she had a house ready for them (actually a recycled dog crate). It was in the back yard under a tarp to keep the sun and rain off of them.

The other chickens didn’t seem to interested in the new arrivals, and kept busy inspecting every inch of the yard for a bug or interesting leaf to devour. These chickens also arrived as little one day old chicks and they have grown fast and thrived. They are supposed to start laying eggs when they are six months old which shouldn’t be long now, maybe another month.

Today I stopped by Cedo’s house and the chicks are now in the pen at the back of the yard. They were making a mess with their water, and the newspaper under them was getting all wet which made the chicks a bit damp, not a healthy situation for little chicks. Now they can go in and out at will, and the water is outside where it won’t get their box wet.


When the chicks are bigger, they will have the run of the entire pen. Now they are too little and can squeeze under the door or find other ways to escape. They are too little to be safe running around the yard, and are too little to be even running around their pen after dark so they go back in their box.

It will be interesting to watch this process. Cedo is very careful to keep her chickens healthy and free of hormones and chemicals, so there should be some really good eggs and meat. My next big question though is, who is going to kill the chickens? I suppose if I eat chicken it’s only right that I learn about how they get from the yard to the plate.

If any of you are local and want eggs or chicken, you know who to ask! She will also be taking orders for tamales a couple times a month, and she can make some really good tamales. At this rate I may never need to leave the neighborhood 😀



About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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28 Responses to Raising Chickens

  1. How fun! I hope you keep posting about them as they get bigger. When we were hiking in Panama we met a farmer who fed his chickens plantains, and they pecked all the way theough the outer skin. It was really fascinating to me


    • I will keep posting. They do seem to eat most anything, bugs, veggies, leaves, fruit, especially if it’s ground up in the food processor. We have been saving all our veggie peels and other scraps for them. I’ll have to give them a plantain and see what they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sunni Morris says:

    We had about 150 chickens growing up. Most of them started out as little chicks like this. When my grandmother wanted one for the table, she’d ring their necks or use an ax and chop off their heads on an old stump near the chicken house. I’m glad that was her job. I think i’d be a vegetarian if I had to kill animals to eat.


    • Wow, that’s a lot of chickens! I’m sure there is someone who can kill chickens around here. I don’t think I want to kill them either, and Cedo says if she has to kill them she doesn’t think she can eat them. We’ll have to hire some guy with a machete!


  3. Hugo says:

    How much did they cost? Clyde and Terry reported they were 75 cents down by Chame, here in the states they are $3 or more, which I think is expensive, compared to a wholechicken at SAMs Club for less than $5


  4. 4sarge says:

    Love our chicks, they are Fun to watch. The Brown hens are probably ISA Brown. The ISA Brown is a hybrid, not a true breed, developed by breeding unrelated “dam” and “sire” lines together until the final ISA Brown result. It is known for its high egg production of approximately 300 eggs per hen in the first year of laying.
    The Rooster is a Turken or “Naked Necks” Chicken. Originally called “Naked Necks” Chickens they were first bred in Eastern Hungary. Many believed that they were a cross between a chicken and the domesticated turkey, but this is not the case. The “Naked Neck” was a characteristic bred into the chicken to make it easier to pluck for meat and to tolerate the heat better. The Turken “Naked Necks” Chicken is noted for its size and laying ability and come in different colors.


    • Thanks for all the info! The ISA Brown makes sense because she got them for eggs. The Turken? LOL I’d never seen them before I came here. That also makes sense if they tolerate heat better.


  5. I would like to have chickens, but Connie said “Absolutely NOT!”, so no chickens.


    • At least you won’t have to worry about any of the pets going after the chickens. You’ll have to get a friend or neighbor with chickens and enjoy theirs. That’s the best, benefits without responsibility 😀


  6. oldsalt1942 says:

    There’s a place IN the bus terminal that sells chicks and, from time to time, quails, too. There are a couple of places ACROSS from the terminal that sell chicks and other birds like ducks and quails. There’s no problem with taking a few chicks, in a box, on the Boqueron bus. People do it all the time with no problem, but 50 at a time? Might be a problem there. Last week the chicks at the terminal were going for 85-cents C/U (cada una = each). The quails, on the other hand were $3.15 a pop.


  7. Carol says:

    I am definitely a customer! How do I get in touch with Cedo?


  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow! She is in business. I know she must be happy because in her heart, she is a farm girl. Please give her my love.


    • I will.
      Can you please sign in to WordPress when you comment. Otherwise I have to manually send every message through. As a wordpress user yourself I’m sure you know how that is.


  9. Clairee says:

    I used to have chickens – had about 15 layers, and I used to get Cornish Cross chicks every year to raise for meat. The were a cross between a Cornish Hen and some other much bigger chicken.
    You got them as chicks and in about 6-7 weeks they were about 3-4 pounds – just a good size for eating. I killed them by chopping their heads off on a stump, then I’d hang them (by the feet) on the clothesline to bleed out. Didn’t have any qualms about killing them, but hated cleaning them. Was never a pro at any of it, but I’ve Killed, plucked, cleaned, cutup, packaged and frozen about 20 chickens in a day.
    I may get a few layers again one of these days. Do love fresh eggs from free-range chickens.


  10. oldsalt1942 says:

    I always thought it was kind of interesting that where most birds, when they hatch, have food shoved down their throats by their parents while chicks start pecking around for food on their own as soon as they hatch.


  11. Laureen says:

    When we move to Chiriqui next year, we know who to call for chicken! We plan on having chickens for eggs as well as for scorpion and bug patrol, but we are not cut out for the butchering part. We will be set for fish AND chicken now! Thanks Kris!


  12. Robert & Helen Berding says:

    We have been robbed last thursday at our home in Santa Lucia Volcancito by 2 guys each with a gun. Beaten and tied up. Read Boquete Ning. The same day there were 7 robberies and assaults. Gangs from David area. Panama is not as save as all will tell you.


    • I’m so sorry this happened to you! I can’t read ning for all the negativity there, but I have heard about the recent problems in Boquete. I’m sorry one of them was you. Boquete has always been prone to burglaries, but I think the assaults are a more recent and frightening development. Hopefully the police will be able to catch the criminals and do something about the criminal activity.


  13. Robert & Helen Berding says:

    Please Kris give my your email again as I can not find it anymore mine is helenke1953@gmail.com. We went yesterday to the medical department of justice to report and being. checked by a doctor. Fortunately I speak, read and write Spanish.


  14. Pingback: Chicken Update | The Panama Adventure

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