A lot of my friends ask me what it is like to raise backyard chickens. I get questions like Are they hard to care for? Do they smell? How often do they lay eggs? Why are you doing this? I thought the best way to answer all these questions (and probably more) would be to blog about it! This is a series of posts that will give detail to what it is like for Andrew and I to raise chickens.
Every morning, between 6AM to 7:30AM I go outside to let the chickens out. As you can see, they have awoken with the sunrise and are already waiting for me. Chickens are very punctual.
This is Henrietta, she’s top chicken and she usually takes in the lead in telling me I need to let her out. She’s very bossy.
Once the chickens have left the building, I check their food and water. I refill their water container almost everyday, while their food gets filled about 2 – 3 times a week.
While Henrietta storms the gates, Pauline and Betty nonchalantly make their way out of the coop for their morning stroll.
And there’s Little Chicken way in the back. She is at the bottom of the pecking order, so she comes out when the other chickens say it’s ok for her to come out.
Once the chickens are out, I check the nesting box for eggs. Here I disturbed Billina — she wasn’t too pleased. Typically my chickens have laid their eggs by 8:30AM. Billina goes first, followed by Henrietta. Again, punctuality.
Once they finally have laid, I collect the eggs and bring them inside. *Fun fact about eggs — they don’t have to be refrigerated right away. When hens lay eggs, they have a protective coating on them called a “bloom.” The bloom protects the eggs from bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms. Once the eggs are washed, the bloom is washed away making them susceptible to bacteria and other nasties, which means they need to be refrigerated. I store my fresh eggs on the counter since we use them so quickly, but I can store them unwashed and in the fridge for up to 7 months!
Then the chickens free range all day. Look at that fluffy butt.
And sometimes you look outside and your chicken is in your flower bed.
The chickens spend the rest of their day foraging and looking for worms. Once it starts to get dark, they all move into the coop on their own, and it’s lights out by 9:30. Then they slowly drift off to sleep, thinking chicken thoughts and dreaming about large worms.
Sweet dreams my feathered friends.