A little tidbit that most people don’t know about my family is that we have chickens. Along with my love of fashion and homemaking, I love to cook and have big dreams of supplying our family with as many necessities as possible. Chickens were an obvious addition in order to accomplish this.
Those that know me also know that I have a paralyzing fear of birds. These two things don’t go very well together. Over the course of my journey as a chicken-owner I have had to fight off a hawk with a 46″ wing span (I googled this. I also ran for my life that day with my tiny lab that I was certain would lose the battle to said hawk, a shockingly small stick considering the trees I have, and a squawk reminiscent of that of a dying seagull), chase chickens that escaped my newly constructed hawk-repellent run and configure a plan of feeding and collecting eggs that didn’t require me to wear a suit with the likeness of the Bubble Boy’s.
While conquering those road bumps, I’ve come to have a new understanding for a lot of different things. I see my daughters interest in them and am so thankful that she can grow up with a love for animals and have gratitude for the things that we are able to enjoy because of them. I enjoy knowing what is going into my body when I eat my eggs. A big one for me has been learning to appreciate something, even though I don’t like it. There’s something incredibly simple and beautiful in that. I jokingly tell people that I have a love-hate relationship with the girls because some days, I seriously don’t feel like taking care of them, but it is a hobby that I am required to commit to. It’s been interesting and hysterical all at the same time! Here are some quick little facts about me and my chickens.
Are they free range?
You may see the enclosed run and think that they are not free-range, but actually they are. They are not pasture raised because of the possible dangers of predators. Feel free to inquire with me about the requirements of free-range vs. pasture raised! It’s actually really interesting!
How many and what kind do you have?
We have seven chickens. We started with nine, but lost one to the hawk and one to disease. I have four dominiques that lay brown eggs and three easter-eggers that lay varying shades of blue.
What do they eat?
They eat any and all vegetable scraps, yogurt, grains and their feed that we purchase from a local farm co-op.
Do they have names?
Indeed. Penny, Kentucky, EB, Templeton (she was one that we didn’t order but snuck in), Louise, Little, Chanticleer
Does your dog give them trouble?
No! It’s actually great, when one of them gets out of the run, Willow actually helps me to herd them in a very non-aggressive way!
How many eggs do you get per day?
On average 4 per day, but they are fussy little things. When the days are shorter, they lay less (putting lights in their house has helped) and the temperatures also change their output. You can find all sorts of tips in chat groups!
I hope that you guys enjoy this and if you are contemplating getting chickens, please ask away! I was in no way knowledgable to begin with, but there are some really great community resources and books out there!