It has now been roughly 9 months since we started our chicken owning adventure and what an interesting journey it has been.
We bought 27 chickens in March and by the time June 2021 arrived we had gone down to 16. Unfortunately, a neighbor’s dog broke out of their backyard and decided to roam over to my chicken coop. I learned a lot that day as a Chicken Mom and those lessons were hard. It was so sad to see my beloved chickens scattered throughout my yard. I frantically had to clean up before my youngest came outside. What made the situation worse was that I was only about 10 minutes too late; if I had gone outside sooner the dog wouldn’t have gotten to my chickens. The two roosters that we had at the time both fought valiantly to defend the hens that they could. The neighbor paid for the loss and damages which made it only slightly better for my family; we really loved the chickens and some of our favorites were killed. However, we were so grateful that the remaining chickens survived! Two were injured but after months of taking care of them, they made a full recovery! We ended up buying my daughter two more chicks: one was caught by a stray cat and the other came out to be a rooster!
Our family now has 17 chickens. We have 16 hens: Clarabelle, Clementine, Hazel, Seraphina, Prue, Polly, Thelma, Louise, Babette, Blanche, Gretchen, Regina, Karen, Twinkie Lou, Cookie, and Donut. And one rooster: Boo.
I have become the Crazy Chicken Lady and I wear that title like a badge of honor!!
While we were sad about our loss, we were excited to see when we would get our first eggs and which hen would lay first. By the end of July, we had 4 daily egg layers. In August we had 8 more egg layers, September gave us 3 new layers, and we had the runt of the flock give us a beautiful blue egg in November. We had been letting our chickens free-range and once they started laying, we found a problem: they found places to nest and lay throughout our property.
Every day was an Extreme Egg Hunt and my kids enjoyed it for the first couple of weeks. It wasn’t long before they were over the hunting all over our backyard because it took so much time and energy, especially if the chickens lay somewhere new that day. It wasn’t long before we realized that we would need to build them a big chicken run so they could all lay in the coop. It was absolutely insane where the chickens decided to lay their eggs instead of the nice chicken coop but once we got the chicken run up for them, they laid their eggs in there on the daily.
One might call me naïve, but I guess I didn’t really do the math when it came to eggs and just how many we would actually be given from our chickens. I started saving my egg cartons for months before they started laying, asked friends to give me their egg cartons, and even bought some plastic ones. I am here to tell you that I still don’t have enough egg cartons. No matter how many eggs we eat in a week, we still have gobs and gobs of eggs with an empty egg carton shortage. At one point we had twenty-seven 18 packs of eggs stored. Eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, eggs in snacks, and eggs for dinner. If I can add eggs to it then you better believe that I will be making it and you will be eating it!
The farm-fresh butt nuggets are worth every dollar and time spent on them. We still love having our chickens and while the excitement of the eggs has died down, we appreciate the eggs we are given. They are so beautiful in color; I absolutely love the coloring on the eggshells laid by my chickens. I wanted a plethora of colored eggs and chose my chicken breeds carefully to obtain those colors and it was all worth it!
I know I haven’t figured out all of the ins and outs of being a Chicken Mom but I’ve come a long way. And as crazy as it sounds, I still want more chickens!!!
This is part 2 of my chicken blog. Read part one here: One Chick, Two Chicks, Three Chicks, Oh My!