Acquired: Farmyard / Feedstore adoption
Posted Feb 06, 2015
One of the best things about each of my mornings revolves around breakfast. If you ask me, it’s hands down one of the best meals of the day! My favorite is scrambled eggs, quinoa, and cheese! I can make near endless amounts of them due to the fourteen Silver Ameraucana hens living on my property.
On average, with fourteen hens, we receive about a dozen fresh eggs every day. When the change from fall to winter happens, and the birds began to molt the egg production slows down to around four or five. We added some heat lamps and a false sun to help with the low egg count. Within a couple of weeks we were back up to a dozen farm fresh eggs a day.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there is a list of things you want to avoid feeding your chickens. If you feed them the wrong things, it could cause them to have a low egg count and or get sick. NO avocados (no flesh, pits, or skins), NO white potatoes (not cooked, raw, skins, or flesh), NO Tomato Leaves (although the flesh is okay), NO rhubarb stalks or leaves, NO eggplant leaves (although flesh is okay), NO apple seeds (apples are okay just not the cores), NO dried beans (cooked ones are fine though), NO white onion (red and yellow are okay), NO chocolate, NO Coffee Grounds (I’ve done this one myself and it is NOT a good things), NO tea bags, NO meat. If you manage to avoid these things, your chickens will love some scraps from cooking. Whatever they don’t eat, I happily compost. It’s really important to give them the shells from eggs you’ve used. I know it sounds a little weird, but really they are solid calcium. Chickens need lots of calcium in order to keep producing eggs!
Lets talk roosters for a moment. I’m sure they are good for something… I’m just not too sure what. When we were purchasing chickens the first time around, even though they said they were gender sorted already, we managed to pull half male and half female. It was a real bummer and we had six that we needed to find new homes for. In my experience, they are MEAN. Five of the six were vicious, and never hesitated to attack. One lived in the barn with the goats for a while. We had to rehome him when we came to the consciences that no one wanted to go out to the barn because we were avoiding a rooster! The trick we learned from someone who makes our fourteen hens look like nothing was this: When you put your hand in to pick out chicks, avoid the ones that willingly let you pet them. They are the boys. They assert their dominance early. Grab the ones who are trying to get as far away as possible. We did this and landed all GIRLS the next time!
We don’t cook our chickens; they are strictly for eggs. I am happy to report that the large blue eggs are YUMMY!