As I mentioned before, Dennis and I became the proud owners of 4 lovely chickens just over a week ago. I'd always heard that chickens don't lay much in winter, and these chickens were just moved, so I didn't figure that we'd be getting any eggs for quite some time.
But we got 6 eggs this first week! I know it's not much, but it sure is exciting to be getting breakfast from our own backyard! We're an egg-eating bunch at our house - we usually go through 2 dozen eggs a week - so it will be a while before we are getting enough eggs to support our omelette habit.
Of course, we've already learned quite a lot about backyard chickening, mostly by trial and error.
Lesson #1: Chickens can scale a 6 foot fence. We learned this on thursday when Dennis came home to find one of our chickens in the neighbor's backyard. Fortunately, it was the chicken friendly neighbors who gave us the chickens in the first place.
Lesson #2: You can clip chickens' wings to keep them from scaling 6 foot fences. After our chickens got loose for three days straight we finally learned how to clip their wings. They don't seem to mind, and I'm sure the neighbors appreciate this.
Lesson #3: You can feed your chickens all of your leftovers. The couple we have been getting our eggs from gave us lots of tips. They said they hardly ever throw food away because the chickens love it. It's nice not wasting our leftovers, and the chickens have come to expect a treat every time we go out to see them.
Lesson #4: Chickens make a very distinct sound when laying an egg. It does not sound comfy.
I know we have plenty left to learn, but keeping backyard chickens, just like having a backyard garden, seems to be much easier than I expected, and a whole lot more fun!
Chicken tips from the experienced are welcome, as well as some good chicken-keeping blogs or website links. I'd love to learn more!
This post was shared at Traditional Tuesdays and Simple Lives Thursday.