We’re gettin’ Chickens!

Firstly, I’d like to say Happy New Year to all. I know I haven’t posted in some time, but 2012 started off with a real bang. I spent the first 4 days of the year in bed, sick. Then on the 8th day, I had surgery. BANG! But, all is well now, and as you may have guessed from the title…WE’RE GETTING CHICKENS!  And I may be just a hair excited about it.

I’ve been half-heartedly pestering my husband for about a year to get some chickens. But, then we worked out a barter system with a fellow my husband works with. We gave him fresh veggies and home canned goods, and he gave us fresh eggs from his flock. So the desire for our own chickens kind of waned. Then, last week our egg supplier confided in my husband that he’d fallen on some hard times and had to sell his chickens because he was moving. Two immediate thoughts:

1. we gotta help this poor guy

2. our essentially free farm fresh egg supply will be no longer  (selfish? Yes, but we’re being realistic here….)

Now, I just happened to be reading about chickens for a few weeks. (I got a few books on backyard chickens and poultry for Christmas.) So the idea of inheriting this guys 9 chickens sounded super awesome to me! When it comes to farming, I’m of the “Let’s do it, and see how it goes” mind-set. My husband on the other hand is the realist, devil’s advocate kind. So we talked about it, and slept on it, and craigslisted for cheap chicken coops, and after coming to the conclusion that my husband was not ready for the commitment, we dropped it….for about an hour.

It must have finally hit my husband that if we didn’t inherit some of the chickens, we’d have to go back to eating fat laden, bland, watery, sad looking eggs from the grocery store. (If you haven’t had fresh farm eggs, there is a major difference in appearance and taste that you quickly look forward to…Maybe I’ll do a comparison post some day.) So, off we went! We bought a small coop, large enough to hold 3 chickens temporarily, that we found on craigslist.

We decided we weren’t ready for a whole flock of 9 chickens, because, well, we’re chicken. (HA! Had to…) So we’re getting 3 of “the best layers.” I haven’t seen them yet, but they are apparently of the Jersey Giant breed.

Pretty, don’t you think? I definitely would have picked these girls if I’d had an option. According to my readings, they’re calm, decent layers, and good for meat (although I doubt I could stand that.)

We should be bringing our girls home in the next week or so, so I took advantage of this FANTASTIC January weather, and spent the morning raking pine needles for their bedding, breathing fresh air and getting some sun on my face.

I even made them a little roost out of sticks from the yard. Now I just have to give the coop a good cleaning, buy some feed, and make a nesting box and run for them. The more I do, the more excited I am! We’re going to have fresh eggs, but even more exciting, I’m going to get the best composted fertilizer from their bedding for my garden. OH, I can’t wait.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how this little adventure goes.

Happy Nesting!



7 responses

  1. Hi! I wanted to thank you for following my blog and that I’m glad I found yours! You will love chickens and three will give you more eggs than you can stand. I have six hens and they give me 3 dozen eggs a week!

    Jersey Giants are HUGE birds. If you’re looking for egg layers, I’d suggest a White Leghorn or Golden Buffs (I have these). They’re known for being great layers.

  2. Haha. I love the enthusiasm and education you’re showing here! I just got chickens this spring, but they are awesome. Just make sure you’re ready to laugh and be stalked by the darlings. If you’re looking to expand your brood in a little while, both breeds Julie suggested are great, or I’ve found Red stars to be very friendly and excellent egg layers. Feel free to ask any questions, if I can’t answer them I’m sure someone else here can.

  3. Those expert chicken guy at A&M university say you can except 1 egg every 27 hour or so when the hens are in lay cycle.
    Be sure you compost pine needles very well, they contain chemicals that retard seed germination and plant growth. Better yet use then as mulch for walkways or places your not planting or growing plants.

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