Monday, March 16, 2009

I guess I'm in a blogging rut, so let's talk chickens!

Did you notice? Six blog posts in a row about the ministry - and nothing about the family, or the chickens, or even the construction work!

I'll try to get beyond this, I promise!

It's not like there haven't been interesting non-ministry things to blog about. Our chicks, which hatched back in July, have started laying! So now, as layers, we have the original hen named Gorgeous, we have her sad, motley side-kick Baldy, we have one hen the Hayes family gave us (their hen was unhappy as the only chicken at their house), and we have 4 unnamed hen-lets which Gorgeous hatched (although some of the eggs were definitely Baldy's). We don't get enough eggs yet to completely supply our family's needs, but we are definitely at the point where we have to factor in the "homemade" eggs when going to the grocery store, or we'll overstock on eggs. We aren't huge egg consumers, and recently there have been a few times when we have had to plan an egg-heavy meal specifically to use up the abundance!

The two brown eggs are from our chickens. The white eggs are from the store, so you can see the size comparison.
It's fun to see our own "homemade" eggs coming through the kitchen. The eggs from the store are larger and whiter, but we're ridiculously pleased with what we're getting from the chickens. This is really the first time any of our pets have contributed anything back but love. (Chickens aren't the best in the sharing-of-love department, so it's nice that they have something else to share.)

Are we being frugal by having chickens? Hard to tell. We buy low-cost food for them, and supplement with lots of scraps and leftovers from the kitchen. I don't know that we are yet getting more for the money we spend to feed them than the cost of just buying eggs. We're learning a lot, though, and we'll not be starting from scratch (in the knowledge and experience department) when we move out onto our land. That's when we're planning to get a bit more serious about the chicken/egg economic situation.

Ohh, we still have the duck, too. The duck (we were told the duck is a girl, but we don't really know for sure) is interesting, as he/she can't manage to eat all of the same foods as the chickens. Shape of the beak, perhaps? We don't know, but the duck goes wild over lettuce, radish tops, and other leafy dainties. We try to give all of those to him/her, since he/she is missing out on some of the other foods. (Anyone want to tell us how to discover the gender of a duck, so that I can stop the annoying he/she bit?)

So, that's the chicken update for today. I have more interesting chicken news, regarding chicken interaction and living conditions. I'll try to write that up for tomorrow. Keep me accountable, okay? ;-D


Anonymous said...

Hi, I love fresh eggs, but often have a surplus of eggs as I live with 5 vegans. But I keep chickens for garden insect control and for their fertilizer, and I like them. So, here are the ways I use the excess. (1) Hard boil and crumble, then feed them back to the chickens as a protein supplement. (2) Use the yolks as a hair conditioner or even a shampoo. (3) Give away or sell to friends. (4) Can be fed to other animals as a protein supplement, such as family dog, hogs if you had them. Hope this encourages you to use the abundance. Sincerely, Margaret

Theresa in WV said...

We used to have chickens when we lived in Florida. They were actually part of a mosquito control program.

We didn't often have too many eggs, but broken ones went to the dog.

Did you know that you can sedate a chicken by holding its ankles and swinging it upside down like a pendulum?

Theresa in WV said...

As for determining its gender, check out Its not easy, apparently. said...

Isnt' it fun collecting those eggs? I still smile with every one I find. And, like you, I'm not sure it really saves much money raising hens for eggs, but I know what my chickens eat and feel good about eating those fresh eggs. My husband teases me and says each egg costs us about $250 each! I'm too afraid to do the math - I might find he's right!

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