Raising Chickens in your backyard is very “egg”citing! Sorry… I couldn’t help myself. 🙂
This past March, we decided we were going to raise backyard chickens. The thought of having fresh eggs in our own backyard seems really neat to me.
Our good friend, Cara, has been raising her chickens for a year & it didn’t seem that difficult. After picking her brain for a few weeks (over & over again – Thank you Cara!), I decided we were ready!
We picked up our 5 baby chicks from a local Farmers Feed & Supply Store.
Girls @ 1 week old
Who knew chickens grew so quickly?
Girls @ almost 2 weeks old
Girls @ almost 3 weeks old.
Notice how much bigger the white one is. Yes, we will get to the reason for that soon.
6 weeks. Again, notice how GIGANTIC the white bird is.
By 8 weeks of age, the Girls were moved to the coop.
My amazing husband & father in-law build the coop & it turned out fantastic! The girls are so happy to have more space. Hopefully, this will lead to many fresh eggs in our near future.
Now back to the white chicken… She has always been much bigger than the other chickens. It was normal for her to lay around more than the other birds, in the smaller cage. I thought this was because she didn’t have enough room. When we moved everyone out into the new, bigger coop, I noticed she still did not walk around as much as the other birds. In fact, she couldn’t even carry herself up the ramp to sleep in the hen house at night.
After some research & chatting on local yahoo chicken boards (yes, they exist), I come to find out she is NOT a White Leghorn chicken, as I had originally thought (mind you, I thought this because this is what the darn sign said at the Farmers Feed & Supply Store where I got her).
It turns out she is a Meat Bird. Yes, you heard me correctly. A Meat Bird! As in Foster Farms/Tyson Chickens.
This breed of chickens are bred for the sole purpose of processing, which usually takes place at 8-10 weeks of age. “Processing” was NOT something I was about to do!
Our Meat Bird is still with us, due to the fact we haven’t figured out a better alternative for her. She actually moves around more often & seems very happy. However, I do realize she may never lay eggs or live very long. We shall see what happens.
As for our other chickens…
This one turned out to be a Rooster, which we cannot have in our community. After a quick posting on Craigslist, he was picked up by a nice woman & hopefully brought to a nice new home.
These 3 are all doing very well! We received our very 1st egg yesterday & another one this morning. We are all very excited!!!
We’ve thought about doing this for a while now, for the same reason of wanting fresh eggs. Do the chickens make any noise? Are they messy to clean up after? Do you have any other pets that mind them?
Amy ~ They do squawk throughout the day & more so when someone walks up to the coop as they think there is a treat in store. It’s not too loud though. I’m sure my kids in the backyard are way louder then they are.
Some chickens are messy than others. We have a Meat Bird (by accident) & she is messy. The others aren’t too bad. I clean the coop a little every week & then a big cleaning once a month. Nothing too difficult, just scooping the dried poop from the sand. Think kitty litter.
We have a small dog that doesn’t mind them at all. Dogs are known to attach chickens but mine could care less. Probably because the chickens are about the same size as him.
Good luck if you decide to get some & feel free to shoot me a message with any questions.
This is awesome! When can we buy some eggs?
The girls would love to see your chickens!
I made your chicken noodle today! Hopefully I
will get a food response from the family:)
You all are welcomed to come by any time! I hope they enjoyed soup! 🙂 Did you make the baked oatmeal last week?