Whether for eggs or for meat, you can't beat a chicken for an easy way to get into the protein production business. We've had three batches of chickens since moving here, and each one has been an adventure. Our first batch was white leghorns, black australorps, production reds, buff orpingtons, and barred rocks. I ordered several of them "straight run" meaning they hadn't been checked for gender. They are cheaper that way, and I figured we'd just eat anything incapable of laying eggs. :) Sadly, we discovered that laying breeds don't have enough meat on their bones to make them worth plucking! I actually still have one of the white leghorns from this flock. But she only lays eggs when threatened.
|cleaning out my flower beds...|
The second year we ordered in California Whites, Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, and Rhode Island Reds. That year we showed a couple at the fair and we knew we were hooked. There were still some kinks to work out, like the chickens raiding my garden and doing quite a bit of damage. And we had an incident where the dog ate a rooster. These were the chickens I put in my old pack-n-play. It was perfect! That batch of chickens had a round off egg eating, and once they taught each-other the habit, it caught on like wildfire. We tried golfballs in the nests and all kinds of tricks. I finally sold off that flock when my third flock started laying.
The third year we ordered in the Brown Egg Layers mixture from our hatchery, Welp. We also got Dominiques and Black Stars. These chickens have been pretty easy going and fair layers. It was good too, beacause that was the spring we also added 115 Cornish Rock chicks to the crowd. We only lost 5 in growing and in 8 weeks we were butchering 110 of the fattest birds I have ever seen! They grew so fast they actually grew out of their feathers faster than they could grow feathers. It was well worth it when we tasted the fried chicken for the first time. We will definitely be doing that again!
Aside from meat and eggs, the one last reason to raise chickens is how clean your refridgerator will be. You won't let those leftovers rot in the back of your fridge when you know how happy "the girls" would be to eat them up! lol!
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