Since moving to the country our family has really enjoyed caring for chickens. They free range around the farm and sleep in their coop at night. They are very social, smart, and hilarious to watch! They love eating our compost, bugs out of the garden and during the summer would enjoy sitting with us at the patio. Watching a 1.5 year old who had just learnt to walk entice a flock of chickens around the yard with a cracker is enough to brighten the gloomiest days. Our son loves the responsibility of feeding them before getting on the school bus and checking for eggs when he gets home. The fresh eggs are also wonderful!
We knew we wanted to get more chickens and increase our egg production so we'd have enough to sell some and hack away at a bit of the cost of the organic feed. So my husband and son built a second coop. It's massive and was well thought out! We sought out for some new birds and ended up bringing home 20 one year old ex-battery hens. They were in cages so small they couldn't turn around, most have massive feather loss, and some were de-beaked. It was a bit daunting when we first brought them home. Most couldn't stand and none of them were walking. By the next day they were up and moving around though! We knew we had to make some changes to the coop to meet the needs of these girls. So we added a row of nesting boxes that were ground level and lowered the roost so it could reach the ground on one side. We tried to leave them alone as much as possible the first few days as you could tell they were really stressed out! Remarkably, about half of them were still laying eggs!
After the first few days, we created a run for them with access to grass and more dirt. We left their coop door open so they were free to go out if they wanted to but could also stay in if it was too overwhelming for them. They mostly stayed inside for the next 2 days. We always brought them compost treats and were sure to speak gently when going out to visit them. Now, a week later, they will come running to us when they hear us coming and will rub against your legs. They also love scratching for bugs and having "dirt baths". They're still not roosting, using the higher nesting boxes and still have massive bald spots but are laying a few more eggs a day which is a good sign!
So our tiny egg business has started! We're not yet in full swing but do have some to sell. Be patient with us as we're patient with these lovelies!
I've also been making some sweaters for these girls to help them through the next few months while their feathers are growing back! It you are able to knit or sew and have a bit of time to spare please consider making one :D Here are the patterns I've been using;
Huron Birth Blog
Our blog will encompass our current happenings, findings, pictures, musings, and guest blog posts on an array of parenting topics.