Hey and Good Morning!
I apologize for not posting in some time but sometimes life will keep a person busy.
I thought I would put a post up explaining the basics of how we do chickens. I had been asked by a couple of folks lately, so I thought I might share a little bit about our chickens.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear me nor the Ole Man are experts. So I have no expert advice but we have been keeping chickens about 5 years now. As a child, we had a good number of chickens (100 chickens give or take) so I have a little basic knowledge to offer.
With that being said there are so many different ways and opinions that are out there about keeping chickens.
There really are no iron clad do's and don'ts. I say it will be something that will come along with a bit of a plan and a little trial and error.
My biggest message is to say:
Chickens are not hard!
My husband and I made the decision we wanted chicken. He got excited and began researching like crazy. I, on the other hand, had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and more over what
I didn't want.
First, I didn't want a 100 chickens!
We both have full time jobs outside the home. We also had a house full of kids at the time and plenty of obligations. I'd love to think we could train them to have helped but that is something that must be instilled early with children. You might force them to help but they most likely will hinder more than help. We are a blended family. Our son Jack has grown up with them and is a good help and enjoys our hens.
Second, I didn't want chicken poop everywhere!
I'm a barefoot girl.
Free-range has good points and bad points. We became fond of having our first hens out and about. They were soothing and fun to watch. They kept the bug populations down. It was also good for their nutrition. When we let them free-range, I wore flip-flops and watched were I stepped and instead of fencing them in anything I didn't want them in had to be fenced in.
We lost our first hens to predators.
Then we would turn them out during the day and put the up at night.
Now we do the same but they are turned out into a fenced in area.
Here is the cute blue coop the Old Man built.
He search and purchased the plans. I think he paid $10 for the complete plans. I am here looking through the folder and I have searched on line to find the website or any information to share with you. I can't find it. It was purchased on Ebay but must have been removed now.
I do have the plans for this 4' x 6' chicken coop if you request them.
The material list is small and very efficient. very little waste if any of materials bought.
We chose to purchase 4 barred rock pullets. Barred Rock chickens are a very hardy breed. They weather the cold very well. Baby chickens are adorable but many times they just don't make it; they often die. It's also harder to tell the boys from the girls until they grow a little. We don't bother with a rooster.
Roosters are not a necessity unless you want to raise chickens.
We get 3 to 4 eggs a day as long as it's not too rainy for too long.
Our hens lay all winter.
Roosters can be a protector.
They often can be mean and hard to deal with as well.
My chickens day starts when I let them out of their house when my son gets on the bus. I might take them some table scrapes or pull them some weeds or grass during the day. We feed and water them in the evening around supper time. That's also when I gather the eggs. We shut the house door at dark when they have gone in to roost for the night.
We feed ours Layer Pellets. That's what the first hens were already being fed. We tried ground feed once but it seemed they wasted more than they ate and it didn't last as long.
As far as collecting and keeping eggs, I wash mine with warm soapy(dish detergent) water.
I store them in the refrigerator in old egg cartons.
Some people do not wash their eggs until they use them and they do not store them in the refrigerator they keep them at room temperature. This may be fine and something I would consider if I was forced to be without electricity but for me I wash them and keep the in cold.
Once a month or as needed you will need to clean your coop. I usually just get a rake and a shovel and lay them a new bed of straw.
It makes them get very excited and happy.
I hope I've shared something that will help you along the way.
If you have some questions just ask. I'll do my best to answer them.
Thank you for stopping by for a visit!