Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken Happenings

Since it's been a while since I've written about The Girls (yes, we're hooked on our hens even though they've all gotten fat and we can't tell them apart anymore), I thought I'd write an update on how they're, um, laying.  I'm linking up to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop #2 today, so be sure to visit some of the other homesteads by clicking below:

Click here to visit!
I mentioned a few months ago that we got five two-year-old laying hens just to cut our teeth on owning chickens, and we really didn't expect them to do a whole lot besides eat and poop.  Well, wrong we were, and here's a list of their recent activities:

1.  We're now getting anywhere from two to four eggs per day, and I haven't had to buy eggs for almost two months!  Though I don't think the hens have paid for themselves, I can begin to see how eventually getting younger hens and selling eggs could help us at least break even or come out a little bit ahead.

2.  It took about six weeks or so for the hens to acclamate to being at Green Acres.  They used to be terrified of Byron, but now they absolutely love him.  In fact, whenever I open the back door, they sprint/waddle toward the house in hopes that The Man in the Orange Sweatshirt has come bearing gifts.

3.  Ever since scoring some portable electric fencing on craigslist, we've discovered the value of moving the hens to fresh pasture.  Though I mentioned that we've had to buy feed, they eat less feed when given the opportunity to pick and scratch fresh grass, and the egg yolks are the brightest yellow from all that chlorophyll.  Byron also put a pile of compost into their little yard, and they absolutely demoslihed it, finding seeds and other edibles and then scratching the rest of it into the ground.  Next stop?  Our garden-to be!  They can pre-till some more compost for us all they want!

4.  Speaking of compost, when Byron cleaned out their hen house this weekend, he noted that there was very little stench, because he must have hit on the right carbon and nitrogen ratio.  Here's a fun visual:

Nitrogen +

carbon = supreme compost for the garden!
We'll experiment more with that ratio and keep you posted.  For now, happy barn hopping!


  1. The past two weeks or so have really seen our laying pick up. We're getting 6-8 eggs a day now (versus 2 a day). They did manage to keep us in eggs all winter - we haven't bought eggs since the middle of last summer before they started laying!

  2. We just collected 2 last week from our old ladies who are 5 now. I've ordered 8 more chicks from the feed store for spring! Having Chickens is the best!
    Deb # 15 from the Barn Hop today.