Friday, September 3, 2010

Our girls (the ones who lay eggs)

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Our girls are almost 6 months old now… which means we’ll have fresh organic eggs very soon.

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While they do have a run, we’ve chosen to let them free-range during the day, although we do supplement with organic grains and kitchen scraps.

It’s been a crazy dry and hot summer.

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We’ve found that they do not wander very far from the hen house. This is a view from inside our front door. I love it when they come to visit.

They typically go no further than 100 yards away from their ‘home’. And, thankfully, we haven’t had any losses.

We started out with 18 hens, and then we bartered or sold 9 of them. We simply didn’t have it in us to put them in the freezer as we had originally intended. They had become beloved pets before we even realized that it had happened. I know. This could be a problem if it becomes a habit around here. We’re working on it. It’s still our first year on the homestead after all. We’ll do better next time. I’m thinking meat and dairy goats will be the next addition to the homestead. Hopefully, it will happen this fall.

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This is by far girls’ favorite spot. It has a comfortable fence for roosting and my (now scraggly) herb garden for scratching and dusting.

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It’s such a joy to be able to watch these girls scratch around the homestead. They’re amazing creatures. Really, they are.

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And have I mentioned the eggs? We’re really looking forward to those eggs!

Here’s a wonderful source if you’re interested in having a few girls in your very own backyard:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

6 comments:

Rhetta @ On Raspberry Hill said...

I think the girls are simply charming. And quite photogenic. I would have difficulty with the 'freezer' option as well. As always, thanks for opening your homestead to us. God bless!

MAYBELLINE said...

Those chickies have it made. Hope you're enjoying eggs soon. Do you have a pool going at your house guessing the date the 1st egg will be discovered?

mainely stitching said...

Your girls are beautiful! We have 43 girls, 3 guineas, and 2 boys (who were supposed to be girls, but I guess everyone can make mistakes). Four of them have just passed the 20-week mark, so we check for eggs every day just in case, but the rest of the crew won't get started until November. I absolutely LOVE our chickens!!! :D

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Good morning Melissa!
It was funny looking at your little flock of chickens as they look just like mine! I have one Barred Rock, 3 Rhode Island Reds but 9 Buff Orpingtons and 9 Black Australorp (not counting two roosters). We did have a bit of a mishap while we were gone as the two young roosters we separated from the flock to keep peace in the chicken run flew over the fence. Shep our young Akbash caught one and ate him but the Buff Orpington rooster got away but only after loosing all his tail feathers and a chunk of his tail! We now call him 'Lucky'. Anyway....it was great seeing your chickens. Enjoy them...they are just the neatest creatures. You should start getting small eggs any time now as ours are the same age and they are starting to lay. The eggs start out small but they'll get larger the more they lay. You'll have to post when you get your first one! Have a wonderful weekend...Maura :)

Ann said...

Your flock of chickens look very healthy and contented, know what you mean about them becoming pets though, it would be hard to eat them! Won't you feel the same about goats though, I know I would, they'd just be for milk with me!

Well done on the knitting, it's something I never got to grips with. Looking forward to seeing what you make.

Melissa @ Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Rhetta, I'm glad I'm not alone! I'm glad you enjoy your visits to our little homestead.

Maybelline, you'll enjoy my next post... stay tuned!

mainely stitching, I'll have to pay you a visit soon!

Maura, I'm really looking forward to having those fresh eggs on our table.

Ann, I do fear that this will happen with goats, too. We'll have to put forth extra effort, and I suspect they'll be dairy goats for a long, long, time. I prefer my meat in anonymous packages!