We’ve gotten almost a dozen from two of the Chicken Ladies, Parm and Buffalo. Parm is laying bigger eggs than Buff, but I’m not surprised because she’s a bigger bird. Right now these two seem to be on a morning schedule which is good because that means I can let them out of the coop earlier in the AM than I have been. I don’t let any of the chickens out of the coop until I get an egg which can be late in the day. Well, not wicked late, but late enough. For example, I didn’t let them out of the coop until noon:30 yesterday. I don’t like keeping them cooped up that long so I’m pleased Parm and Buff laid early this morning. It’s 8:30 and they’ve been out for about a half hour.
The other two are wanting to lay. They’re starting to stamp and squat although I have to *inform* them they want to instead of them asking me for it. I hope by next week I’ll have three laying hens as it seems McNugget is almost there. It’s funny because I thought McNugget would be my late bloomer since she the smallest. But I was wrong (ssh!), Soup is my late bloomer. Her comb is still pretty small despite it being red. It’s not wicked red but it’s not pink either.
For the most part they stay in the yard and come when I call them but not always. It bothers me when I don’t know where they are and when they don’t come when I call them. Whenever they do come I reward them with some chicken scratch which they gobble out of my hands.
Thankfully they’ve decimated the compost pile. It seems to be one of their favorite places which is good. I was a little disappointed they pulled up whatever was growing in there (some onions and some sort of squash) but the Chicken Ladies have been aerating the compost well. We’ve been mixing in the wood shavings from the coop which, of course, has their poop in it so the compost will be really rich in nutrients by fall. Wolf and I have decided to open up the garden at the end the season to let them scratch around then we’ll mix some of the compost in. Next year we should have a wonderfully abundant garden.
All in all I have to say I’m pleased with chickens in general. I thought having chickens would be a huge amount of work but I find they are relatively self-sufficient and easy to care for. And I find they are a joy to have. Absolutely will we get chickens every year from now own though we’re thinking of increasing the number from four to six, maybe eight. If we get eight then Wolf will have to put an addition onto the coop because we feel it’s too small for eight; six will be fine in the coop at it’s current size but not eight.
So for anyone who thought about getting chickens but hesitated because of the perceived amount of care required I have this to say: having chickens are not as much work as you think. Go for it!