Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer of the Chicken

One of our projects this past summer was getting set up with Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens!  Back in June we bought four 1-day-old baby fluffy butts!

They quickly (very quickly) grew and when they were fully feathered out they moved from their brooder box  out to the coop.  The picture below is them in their coop outside of their box for the first time.  The bedding hasn't looked that neat and beautiful since then, but it's not as stinky as I would have thought.

 We will be getting some super delicious and healthier than store bought eggs starting in about 2 - 3 months from now!  We don't have a rooster because they are annoyingly loud and from what I've been reading can be aggressive... which doesn't fly well with this lady, especially considering I want our kids to feel comfortable doing the chicken chores and don't want them getting harassed by a cocky rooster.

Our 4 chickens are very gentle except when they get super excited about treats (worms, raisens, fruit scraps) and can get carried away.

 Though our chickens are not free-ranged because I have a business that requires they not roam around and poop on whatever they want, and their eggs won't be quite as magical as a free-ranged pasture-raised chicken egg, I expect some difference to occur.  They get greens, they get fruit and veggie scraps, bugs, worms, and decent feed, so they and their eggs will be healthier than the chickens living in egg-factories.

Supposedly, these are the differences between a free-range chicken's egg and a store bought egg:
• 1/3 less cholesterol• 1/4 less saturated fat• 2/3 more vitamin A• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids• 3 times more vitamin E• 7 times more beta carotene
Plus, chickens are fun. And funny.  And soft.  And quieter than I expected (our kids are a bajillion times louder when outside than the chickens).   

 The kids have really enjoyed getting to raise animals that are a little different than your usual house pet.  They help let them out of their coop by opening the door to their run in the morning, they can feed them, they can switch out the water jugs, and they can scoop poop as well!
 If the winter goes well we might get a couple more chicks to up our egg supply, because we eat a lot of eggs around here, and we're already getting lots of requests from friends and families for eggs!  But for now we're learning as we go, and taking it one season at a time!

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