All in all – I would have to say that the most talked about of any venture we have going on at the farm are the chickens. “The Coop” as we call it – is usually the first place visitors to the farm go to see. Our coop has been home now for over the last year to our little flock (we started with nine). With a few minutes of care each day – they have provided us with a little over 4 dozen eggs each week – and maybe even more importantly – an incredible supply of organic matter for our compost bins.
Our hens are not free loaders – they actually pay for themselves. In a short time – we have developed a steady supply of farm fresh egg buyers who purchase our excess eggs, which is more than enough to pay for their feed and straw.
For those of you considering of raising your own eggs – here are some quick answers to the most frequent questions we get:
Hens are not loud. We have only Hens and for the most part they are as quiet as can be. Now – they do usually give a little dance and a short squak to proudly tell us they laid an egg – but beyond that – they are pretty quiet and very tame.
You do not have to have a Rooster to have eggs – and although beautiful and protective of the flock – Roosters can be loud – something to consider if you live in the city 🙂
On average – our chickens lay an egg five to six days each week. We raise Golden Comets (brown eggs) and Leghorns (white eggs), which are both very good egg producers.
Chickens need the basics – water, food, shelter and a little space to roam and scratch -and they will lay beautiful eggs
And yes – farm fresh eggs are different. They are larger, thicker and so much better to eat than store eggs!
We spend on average 5 minutes a day to fill up the feeder – re-supply the water, and collect the day’s eggs. And once every month – we will take and extra 10 minutes to clean out the straw in the coop and add to the compost bins – that’s it!
As simple as it has been – we are actually going to revamp and remodel the coop over the winter months and expand the flock to about 18 for next year. We have plenty of room, and with the growing customer base for the eggs – we figure we might as well have more. Besides – we still have a little left over barn wood – and we might as well as add a little matching shade pergola to the chicken coop for all they have done for us 🙂
-Jim and Mary