Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Started with Backyard Chickens - Part 2

The next morning the girls were ready to come out of their sleeping area early morning.  I brought them some treats from the kitchen  since I did not have a chance to pick up feed.  I set out shortly afterwards to pick up some food and materials for a feeder.   I found Mt. Holly Farm Supply to be the closest location for feed.  I decided on the pellet feed since I read that chickens pick out what they like in the scratch and the other parts are wasted.  I was pleased to find that 50 pounds was $13.50. The staff was most helpful and found they were having a Chicken Workshop that we will all attend. I made sure I was aware of what chickens can and should not eat by locating information on the Backyard Chickens website.  I found they will eat almost all kitchen scraps except for raw potatoes/cooked non-green are fine, citrus, under-cooked or dried beans, avocado skin/pits, and salty foods. 

I found they love watermelon, chickweed, and whole kernel corn.  Their favorite by far is the corn and eat it out of my hand.  They will ignore all else when corn is around.  They are trained that went a metal container with coins is shaken corn is coming soon!   I pull up a couple hand fulls of weeds several times a day.  The chickens run up to me each time they see me in hope for more treats!

Betsy, Isaac, and Elise came to see the chickens that afternoon and found they had layed two eggs.  I had not checked earlier so we all were surprised and delighted!  Later on that day they would lay two more.

I decided to use shredded newspaper for the nesting material in the boxes.  It works out well and go right into the compost bin when I clean.  Pictured here are the first two eggs we received the day after they arrived.

They took the eggs home and Isaac cooked the first one and noticed that the yoke was larger than the other eggs they had been eating.  The girls layed four eggs the first day and two daily for the next week.  I enjoyed my first fried egg still warm from the nesting box, you can get any fresher than that!  Recently, we have started to receive 3-4 eggs daily. 

 Pictured are our firsts... the first two eggs, the first, dozen eggs, and the first fried egg! 

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