This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fresh & Healthy Eggs! Our relationship with our chickens...

After reading about some of the horrors of how farm-factory chickens are treated, and about how you can't even really trust Organic "Free-Range" Chickens to actually mean FREE RANGE, I realized it was time to have our own chickens and thus our own eggs.

Our first attempt at chickens; we bought 3. We lost one to some wild animal. It was terrible. I think the little chick was dragged through the bars. We learned quickly why bars are a certain size. One of the hens turned out to be a rooster, after weeks of us thinking she was just a butch hen. I guess the crowing should have given it away, but we fought for her, thinking that she was just taking over the male role. She also regularly attacked our 9 year old. So "she" had to go. At that point, "she" also developed spurs. Yep... She's a HE. So we found a nice family who wanted a rooster. We, of course, no longer wanted to be woken up in the wee hours of the morning with "her" crowing.

The 3rd hen... well, I can't remember what happened to her (I will have to ask my husband. He remembers every little detail. I unfortunately do not. He is a Virgo however.) I do know that we have 2 hens now. We did have 3 again. We'd named them "Pixie" "Emerald" and "Angel." We lost Angel. I think it was another wild animal. So now we have Pixie & Emerald.

So after over 2 years now, one of them has never laid an egg. Yes, we only have one layer. "Pixie" is our only layer. Emerald is good for poop, company, and making nice soil and compost with her scratching. Oh and eating the snails and slugs.

Have only one egg a day (or less) has never been enough to feed our family of four. So we finally gave in and recently got 5 more chicks.

 "Blondie" "Mochacchino" and "Cinnamon"

 "Mochacchino" "Speckles" "Ginger" and "Blondie"



So now we will have a dozen eggs every 2 days(ish)!

My husband has been diligently fixing op the coop and making a bigger and better run for our hens and soon-to-be hens. We have moved the coop to a prettier area and snazzed up their home. I figure happy hens make better healthier eggs, yes?

One of the things I was amazed about with Pixie's eggs was the color of the yolk!!!! It was BRIGHT orange! Like NEON ORANGE! It really showed me how much store-bought eggs are lacking in nutrients! I am so excited about having fresh eggs everyday.

 Here is an example of a store-bought "free-range" organic egg, and our REAL free-range egg.

The trick to having orange yolks is to make sure that your hens get out every day. We let them out of the coop to "free-range" the entire yard, to get sunshine, to eat bugs and other foods, and generally to enjoy themselves. Though, the girls do like to eat our dog's food too, and you can see them being chased by Thunder (our dog) as he protects his "golden" nuggets.

And in reality, hens are a joy to have around. They are silly and fun. They follow us around and want to be a part of the action. They keep our garden pest-free. They help make great compost. Their uses are endless!

Oh and here is a great article from Mother Earth News:

Meet Real Free-Range Eggs

1 comment:

  1. So my husband clarified....

    "Pepper and Buttercup (RIP courtesy of a Raccoon)
    Angel, RIP of unknown causes, was well into laying age, but never laid, just passed one evening. Peanut was most likely suffering from seizures, apparently the head up walking on tiptoes is a common sign of brain issues in birds."


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