Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Ladies

In late February, we had a string of bad luck as far as our animals were concerned. First was the rabbit... dead, in her cage, with no explanation (we have heard that rabbits have heart attacks easily). The next day began the steady decline in the numbers of our hens, who ended up getting completely picked off by raccoons in the matter of a couple of days. This was a huge disappointment, not only from the point-of-view of the chickens, but from the family who loved their eggs and their personalities... We were back at square one. Again.

We went back to getting eggs from our local egg-lady, which we were glad to have as a back-up, and discussing how we wanted to go about our next venture into chicken-keeping. When our friends, Barb & Morgan, told us that they would be downsizing their flock and wanted to sell off 7-10 birds who were rapidly approaching the laying stage, we jumped for joy. I was dreading brooding chicks all over again (feathers, dust, stink, and the vulnerability of the little buggers), but wasn't sold on the idea of buying hens from people I didn't know and being unsure of how they were raised and cared for. This was PERFECT!

Morgan brought the first 5 birds last week, and brought the last 5 yesterday. They are really beautiful--all buff colored, which we have never had before--7 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Auracanas.

The best news of the whole deal? We got 2 eggs this morning!!! This is my favorite part of chicken-keeping...the day one or two chickens start to lay, and the slow and steady count upwards. When we have too many chicken eggs for our family to consume, we have a list of customers ready to take the surplus off our hands... I don't think we can use 70 eggs a week... we'll ty our darndest, though!


Patrice Farmer said...

Thats great you got a flock back now. Thats great news.

Nicole said...

How many chickens do you need to yield 70 eggs a week? I am so enamoured with your and Leah's chicken/egg endevours...trying to figure it out for us down here in San Diego!

TheMartianChick said...

Although breeds vary, most hens will lay an egg each day.Buff Orpingtons are particularly good layers and they make eggs-ellent mamas.If you ever find that you want to expand your flock, you might want to get some hatching eggs and let a broody hen hatch them and raise them. No dust...no mess...no stink!

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

My parents used to have a couple of hens for egg-laying purposes and the cage my dad built was out of chicken wire and enclosed even at the top. They had a really nice hen house where the lid lifted up and it was super-easy to get the eggs.

In the evenings while he did yard work, he'd let them wander around and it was so fun. They followed him everywhere and really, they're just interesting to have around.

A couple of months ago, I saw a family at the grocery store and their son had a chicken on a leash (though he was holding it the entire time) and that was WAY cool to see!

Chickens = fun; cleaning up after them, not so fun (but worth it).

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Shelly said...

Have been following you for a little while now and want to say thank you for your beautiful photos and your wonderful thoughts. I am in a huge transition in my life right now and it is just one day at a time and I enjoy all the inspiration that others have to share. I use my blog as somewhat of a gratitude journal and as my eye on the prize of moving from Michigan to SW Virginia on my parents farm with my little group of animals and I love women who inspire which in turn empowers others. Many do not realize the impact that they have and I just wanted to share your little impact on me. Thank You and keep sharing those beautiful pics, and you might really like my blog as we have much in common.
Always, Shelly

Twig and Toadstool said...

Your chickens look an awful lot like my chickens...I have buff chantleclairs...they are broody as heck!!! I love me a good chicken!!
maureen :)

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

like your blog, and love that you are keeping goats!