We took the leap and are raising chickens for eggs ! Throughout the years, I have been going back and forth with this idea. The thought of predators in our area killing our chickens and leaving dead bodies for us to clean up resulted in my hesitation.
A few months ago, reality set in for me when a dead rabbit made its way into my yard. It was laying there for less than 20 minutes before a large bird swooped down and took the whole thing away with it. If I was not watching the whole thing happen, I would have never even known there was ever a dead rabbit in the yard. This probably happened multiple times without my knowledge. Realizing this along with discussing raising chickens with a local farmer about how birds just swoop down and take the whole birds without leaving a trace, took away a great deal of my fears.
Why chickens for eggs?
We want to start moving towards a self sustained homesteading family lifestyle. Chickens are one of the low maintenance farm livestock that we could see ourselves being able to start building our farm with. Raising chickens is not only easy to start with – there are a great deal of health benefits.
Here’s some details we can share so far…
Where we bought them from?
We noticed a family farm on the way to the local post office. When we contacted them to see if they have chickens for sale to start our farm, they not only had some for sale but offered to mentor us along the way. They started their farm a few years ago and were more than open to helping us start ours.
How many chickens did we get?
We had to figure out how much we really eat in a month and decide based on that. Since 4-6 chickens will give us around 14 eggs a week, we are starting with 4 chickens and will get more if we find that we aren’t getting enough without supplementing from the grocery store.
Where do they stay?
We decided to buy our coop. A great deal of people build theirs however we decided to make this start simple. We will buy the first coop and build the next one as we get more chickens. The one we bought was pretty easy to put together.
Since they have access to plenty of grassy area here and will roam free- they will find most of what they need for a balanced diet on their own. The family farm provided us with a months worth of non-GMO feed so the chickens won’t have to switch off their feed if they are not laying eggs and need to supplement their diet. It made the transition for them easier as they got to know their new space. Since they are very food driven, anytime I want them to come back to the coop – they come over when they see the food they are used to.
How are they are stored?
As long as we eat them within the week, we can just store them on the kitchen counter. We eat eggs often, so I don’t think they will on the counter for long at all. However, when we expand and have a larger flock, they will be stored in the refrigerator. We started to save egg cartons from previous grocery trips to prepare.
Now we have a new favorite pass time, sitting and watching the chickens interact throughout the garden in the evenings while playing soothing music for a few hours has been pure joy for us.
As we learn, we will continue to share our journey with you! Please feel free to share your experience with raising chicken- do you have any tips or words of wisdom so far?