Saturday, March 28, 2009
We have 3 types of chickens: Buff Orpington chickens (the gorgeous gold ones), Barred Rock chickens (the black & white striped ones) and, fairly common chickens around here from what I can tell, Rhode Island Red chickens (the red ones). We have them in a shed that was already here on the property when we bought it. We seperated the shed so that there's still a space for storage and added a door to that side of the shed. We also cut a small hole in the back of the shed. We also set up green house pieces with netting extending off the back of the shed so that the chickens have a nice area to roam, kick up dust and scratch around while still being protected from any predators.
Last May we purchased around a dozen little chicks which we raised inside, then moved into an old rabbit hutch until they were finally big enough (and fairly friendly with us) to go into the shed we set up. A few chickens mysteriously died with in the first couple months - they seemed well and they weren't attacked by any animals (the shed set up is very safe for them), so I'm not sure what happened. However, the remaining 9 seem to all be very well and are now producing eggs every day. We actually just ordered a few more little chicks, the Buffs and Rhode Island Reds, because we've been selling the eggs. Friends and family seem very impressed with the eggs, so we figured a few more hens would be a good idea.
The eggs our chickens produce come in all shapes, sizes and different shades of brown (all three types of chickens lay just brown eggs). I think the photo here is a great example of what I'm talking about ... and excuse the wine cork, it's all I had around to compare the size with at the time. Aside from being protected from predators, we also have no rooster meaning that none of the eggs we're producing are fertilized in anyway. Sure, there's the "feral rooster" roaming around, but he can't get to the hens - thank goodness! The eggs are normally pretty big, very fresh and are from some fairly spoiled chickens, so we feel good selling them and sharing them with others. Right now, we're selling a dozen of the eggs for $3 to friends right now, though the price may change when we start up our farm stand soon.
Here's some more photos that just had to be added in: