photo credit: Mike the Gardener
|Almost 2 years to the day, on April 10th, 2014, I dove into the world of raising chickens.
Actually, I made the decision a number of months before that, but it was on April 10th, 2014, that the baby chicks arrived at my house and the real fun began.
Let me clearly state that with 100% verifiable and indisputable fact, I was new to raising chickens and had 0% experience when the girls arrived on the scene. So if I you ever can offer up some advice on chicken keeping, by all means let me know in the comments section at the end of this article.
I read plenty of books, and watched loads of great chicken videos on YouTube, but until you jump into something and actually have to do it, it's simply not the same. I am sure you can relate to that with something in your own life.
I was excited when the chicks arrived, but at the same time a bit nervous. I am a home vegetable gardener and have been for more than 30 years. It has become second nature to me to garden. Raising chickens on the other hand is a whole new life experience. I did get reminded in a Podcast I conducted with author Cindy Rajhel, that sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone.
Keeping chickens to me is a great, "out of the comfort zone" experience. But I did not tackle that experience empty handed, or without some experienced people in my corner.
I follow a great page on Facebook called Fresh Eggs Daily. The page is run by an experienced chicken keeper, Lisa Steele, who also authored the book Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy Healthy Chickens. I eventaully interviewed her in episode #160 and episode #208 of the podcast, where I was able to ask her all kinds of questions on raising healthy chickens.
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|I have found that every time I had a question, I would post it on the Fresh Eggs Daily Facebook page, and that question would be answered fairly quickly. There are a number of great pages, blogs and websites out there for learning about raising chickens, too many to put in a single blog post, so feel free to share your favorite in the comments below. I definitely would like to check them out.
All of the pictures that you see are of my little chicks when they first arrived and of course what they look like now, 2 years later.
Fast forward to today and they are full grown and incredible egg producing machines. Now that we are full steam ahead into spring, we are getting 5 to 6 eggs per day out of our 6 hens. During the winter production was down to 2 to 4 eggs per day.
Since we have had the girls, I think I only had to buy eggs a couple of times. Either in winter when production was down or before Easter so the kids could dye them. Our girls lay brown eggs and they do not color well at all. In fact the brown shell colored with the dye came out with some really ugly colors.
Today our girls are all grown up and just wonderful to have around. I have learned quite a bit in these past two years. Watering, feeding, cleaning the coop, making sure the water doesn’t freeze during the winter and of course how often to give them treats. They really like the fresh produce from our garden, so I’ll treat them during the spring, summer and autumn months with a little from just about everything we are growing.
If you were thinking of taking the plunge into the world of chicken keeping, do it. You will absolutely love it!
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KEYWORDS:raising chickens for eggs, raising baby chickens, building a chicken coop, chicken breeds, raising chickens for meat, feeding chickens, hatching chickens, raising goats