I like to produce my own food. I find it very satisfying to know exactly what is my food and where it came from. I’m not a fanatic about it, but I do think it is important. So, this spring I thought it was about time to start raising some chickens to produce eggs. I researched chicken breeds, coops, feed and egg production… and then I got my chicks. I had this lofty idea that I was going to free range the chickens so they would have the most natural diet possible. But, I found out that certain “visitors” like to eat chickens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My flock was disappearing and I was getting sick of cleaning up a certain by-product they leave without getting any eggs. So now it was time for a barracks of a coop. I added on an enclosure so the chickens could roam and be completely safe from the “visitors”.
Today I have nine chickens and allow them to graze and dig (under supervision) and feed them produce from the garden as well as a local chicken feed. As far as the egg production goes… the predators managed to pick out all of the older chickens first before they reached “Egg laying maturity” and so I’m still waiting for all but one to start popping them out. I do get about 6 eggs a week from my oldest hen. Within a couple of weeks more and more eggs should be placed in the brooding boxes, and I’ll have more eggs than I know what to do with… which is a problem I want!
The thing many people may not understand, is that it isn’t really cost effective to raise chickens for eggs or even meat. I simply like the fact that I know exactly where my eggs have been, what the chickens have eaten to produce the eggs and how the chickens have been treated.
The reason I started raising chickens was for eggs, but soon after observing them for some time I found them to be quite interesting. Maybe I’ve gone off the deep end, or just need to make some friends, but I really do like chickens. You see, chickens are very structured. There is order, a schedule and various personalities. I think everyone should have chickens, and many cities (at least in Western Washington) are allowing a certain number of chickens per lot.