Friday, August 22, 2014

Supervised Free Range Chickens

After talking to some knowledgeable friends, I have decided to try letting the girls out on supervised free range expeditions. I hope this cuts down on my feed bill. Even if it doesn't, I bet the chickens will be happier and healthier.

Let me tell you, they love it! At first they just milled about the coop entrance, but as soon as the first adventurous hen decided to to try out her wings, they were all over the yard in minutes. When it was time to go up for the night 14 of 16 went straight to the coop and put themselves up. We only had to corral 2 of them. They probably would have figured it out eventually.

I am a little worried about the dog chasing them and some of them flying over the 4 foot fence. I had the puppy on the tie out for this trial run. They came right up to him and he just looked at them. But, when they run from him, his instincts to herd take over and he chases. It may be a while before I trust him around them off the tie out.

Our whole back yard is fenced with two large oaks and a few evergreens to give them shade and hiding spots. My other concern is hawks. I will only let them out when I can be in the back yard to watch over them. Supposedly the peahen is a good guardian. If she see hawks she will fluff up her feathers and dance around to ward them away. I have not witnessed this behavior yet, lets hope it is true.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Finally! We now have eggs! Only two of our hens are laying so far. None of the Araucana's are laying yet, we are just getting brown eggs so far. Can't wait to get some blue / green eggs!

How much do you pay for local farm fresh eggs? I paid about $800 for these two. Once the flock really starts laying, they will eventually recoup their cost and make us a profit. We already have a bunch of co-workers who are interested in buying eggs from us. Do you keep chickens? How much did your first egg cost you?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Getting Ready For Eggs!

Dara and Higgs are putting fake ceramic eggs in the nest boxes. The chickens will see these and know where to lay the real eggs.

These fake eggs look very real. Every time I open the nest boxes, I get excited until I realize these eggs are ceramic.

Some people use golf balls or plastic Easter eggs. I saw these ceramic eggs at the local Ag store and couldn't resist. If you have chickens, what do you use? How long after your chickens started laying did you leave the fake eggs in? Leave a comment and let me know.