A 5 Egg Day!
Yesterday we had a 5 egg day! This is the first time all 5 hens have laid eggs on the same day. To back up a bit, we should tell you about how we got started raising chickens in our back yard:
In Spring 2011 we decided to get chickens. We started with 2 (Penny & Gertrude) and had such a great experience with them that this Spring we decided to get 3 more (Tika, Shaniqua, and Alys). We got the girls from a farm out in Metchosin where the chicks are sexed and vaccinated (We chose Vaccinated birds because we wanted to raise them for laying, not eating). If you would like some more information on where we got them from, feel free to contact us.
After researching breeds we decided to make the flock interesting. 5 girls, all different breeds.
Penelope (Penny): Light Brahma.
Gertrude (Gertie): Silver Laced Wyandotte
Tikka: Buff Orphington
Shaniqua: Black Orphington
After a positive experience with the purchase of the first 2 hens, we decided to return to the sellers this year in March to see if they had the birds we wanted to add to the flock. After exploring a few coops with a variety of birds, it appeared they did not have any Ameracunas left. Cait had her heart set on one, since they lay such a beautiful blue/green colored eggs. When we were about to choose the last chick, we found little Alys hiding in the back of the large group of birds. Her feathers not being fully developed made it hard to tell for sure if she was an Ameracuna, but we decided to take a gamble and hope that she was one.
With the 3 newest additions being that much smaller, Adam went about building a divider to let the girls see each other but not harm one another. It took a few weeks but now they all roam the backyard free. They make wonderful rototillers, produce free fertilizer and their presence in the backyard is quite welcoming and highly entertaining.
Choosing to raise Chickens has been such a great decision for us. It’s helped teach our son Benjamin an appreciation for where food comes from. His job is to check the coop and bring in the eggs everyday (he has dropped a couple in the past).
Raising Chickens can be done frugally, too. When Adam went to the local lumber yard he found scrap pieces of plywood. He willingly picked through their pile of wood finding more than enough to build the walls of the coop. Adam had gathered hinges and other hardware for free over the last few months to save costs. In total it cost about $100 to build (vs $300-500 + for something equivalent) as we had to buy stain, trim and 2×4.
In the beginning we were buying wood shavings, until Adam came up with a wonderful way of recycling paper. We began shredding paper to use as bedding for the floor of the coop. Family even started shredding and showing up with bags full to help keep the girls cozy. When the coop is cleaned the shredded paper is then recycled again as it becomes an addition to our compost heap. We compost fruit and veggie scraps that are created in everyday cooking, but daily the girls are given food to pick through. They seem to prefer fruit best, but will scratch and peck through anything we throw down to them.
Here are the girls:
In celebration of our 5 egg day, a quiche was in order. A hand made pie shell, spinach and onions from the garden and feta cheese. Accompanied with a salad from the garden and it made an epic dinner. Check back tomorrow for the recipe. With the leftover pastry dough, Cait whipped up a wicked Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie (from the garden of course). A great day for eating healthy and frugally.