The chicks in the garden

Backyard Chickens

We have chickens.  We raised these chickens from baby chicks in our house.  We protected them from our predator cats.  We fed them, kept them warm, and raised them until they were beautiful and healthy chickens.  Those cute little chicks that cost about $2.50 apiece seemed like a great idea.  I previously posted about how we spent $300 before we saw our first egg.   That’s a lot of money for a medium sized egg.  (The brown egg in the photo below is the first egg laid by one of my hens.  It is sitting next to an extra large egg.) $300 eggWe had several reasons for getting chickens.  The obvious reason is that we wanted to have fresh eggs from free range chickens.   Granted, we spent a lot of money for food and housing for our hens before we saw our first egg, but we regularly get eggs from our hens in the warmer months.  After the first year, our hens take the winter off from laying, but during spring, summer, and most of the fall, each hen lays an egg a day.  Since we don’t eat eggs every day, we frequently found that even with only four hens, we had a surplus of eggs.    We shared with our neighbors and friends, and even stockpiled some eggs for the hens’ “down time.”  The chicks in the gardenWhen the girls were growing, we used to let them go out into the garden where they could sun bathe, roll around in the dirt, and eat bugs while under our watchful eye.  I really love watching the chickens and listening to them talk to one another.   They are quite entertaining.  You will notice in the photo above that all of our chickens look different.  They are all different breeds.  There’s a Rhode Island Red, a Silver Laced Wyandotte, a Golden Polish and an Americauna.    I could have gotten a flock of only one kind of chicken, but I wanted a variety.  I think my flock looks better with some diversity.  Besides, each chicken lays a different colored egg, so I can tell who’s laying.  Chickens lay different colored eggsIn theory, if one of the hens stops laying, we can kill her and eat her.  In practice, since they all have names, they are pets.  That means that we will not kill and eat them.   Obviously, we didn’t buy them for their meat.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that we won’t buy other birds in the future who are slated to be dinner.  It’s just that, right now, we have no meat birds on the premises.  It’s not really a problem.  We have plenty of eggs.  backyard chickens fresh eggsWhat do you think about backyard chickens?

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