Saturday, December 3, 2011

Backyard Chickens

In march the feed store had a sign, Chicks $3.  Is that all they cost?  I'll take two! They arrived in a month, the middle of April, every bit as cute as advertised.  They were only cute for two days, they get bigger every day.  The first one started laying at the beginning of September and the other two weeks later.  They both lay an egg almost every day so they provide enough that we occasionally give half a dozen away.  Layer pellets are $13 per 40lb bag.  I bought a bag mid September and I'm about half way through it  now. So eggs are costing me about $.65/dozen. The free range eggs I was buying were $4.69/dozen so it saves a bit of money.

First thing every morning, no matter how I feel I have to go out and clean the coop, top up the food and give fresh water. It takes about 5 minutes.  The chickens are happiest if they get out of the run to scratch in the yard and garden for a couple of hours a day.  I have to keep an eye on them or they'll get right up on the BBQ, where I don't want them, yet.

Chickens aren't pets but they know who takes care of them and they follow me around the yard if they are out. I like having them and a supply of fresh eggs can't be beat, but they are a responsibility that cannot be shirked ever, not even for a day. I wouldn't get backyard chickens to save money, they are too much trouble.  Get them because you are committed to producing some of your own food and already do produce some in gardens. If you can't keep a garden going, you will definitely fail with livestock. I haven't had to get out of bed with a bad flu and care for the chickens but the day is coming and I'm going to have to do it no matter what.

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