What’s for breakfast you ask? The incredible edible egg! Thanks to our four backyard chickens we have enough farm fresh eggs to have breakfast, do all of our baking and share with our neighbors once in a while. We did some research before raising chickens and after talking to Aunt E, who has a gaggle of chickens, decided it was easier than we initially thought, so we went all in.
Here Is Why We’re Into Raising Chickens:
Backyard chickens are arguably one of the best pets you can own. Each chicken tends to have a unique personality. Once you are established as their caretaker, they will run over to greet you every time they see you, and may even follow you around the yard while you do your gardening.
One major reason we love keeping chickens is that in our house everyone pulls their own weight. We model that with our kids and age-appropriate chores, with pets who deliver tangible benefits, and our gardening where everything we water gives back to us in some form of food, shade or microclimate. Chickens are pretty low-maintenance, they eat your plant based kitchen scraps, bugs and spiders in your yard, and will clean up most weed problems in a few hours. Moreover, they reward you for providing these “treats” with tasty farm-fresh eggs (yum!) and rich manure for your compost bin (a big bonus for us gardeners).
The cost of raising chickens is relatively low when compared to other pets who give back fewer tangible rewards. It is true that you likely wouldn’t read a book with a chicken snuggled in your lap, however, I do know people who pick them up for a quick cuddle from time to time. For the four chickens we spend about $25 per month on feed, and only because I buy them the non-GMO, soy-free complete layer feed. If I bought regular feed it would cost even less. I bought a bale of straw for $10, of which i’ve only used 1/4 bale over the past six months. Cage-free, non-GMO, soy-free fed chicken eggs in the store sell for $7-9 a dozen, and we use more than 4 dozen eggs a month. Raising chickens is a no-brainer.
I feed and check their water once per day, in the morning. Then we collect eggs in the morning as well. Once a week I empty a pull out pan from under their roost bars in the hen house and empty their poop into the compost bin. At the same time, I change the straw in their nesting box. The old straw goes into the compost bin as well.
Their hen house is a simple small wooden house we elevated on cinderblocks and wood to keep it out of the mud when it does rain. It roost bars inside and nest box off the side where they lay eggs. They have a long chicken run and military netting for shade where our trees don’t cover. When I have weeds for them to eat I let them into their chicken tractor I built out of PVC and chickenwire and position the tractor over the weeded area.
Each hen lays an egg almost every day, giving us about 20-24 eegs a week. What do you do with all those eggs??? Boil ‘em, fry ‘em, poach ‘em, pickle ‘em, blend ‘em in a shake, make egg salad sandwiches, egg pie (quiche). crustless egg pie, put them on a burger for extra protein, and – my favorite – bake yummy breads and desserts. Oh, yeah, we share them with the neighbors too from time to time.
<!–Check out some of the links above for our favorite recipes and –!>share your favorite egg recipe in the comments below.
Have I convinced you to get your own backyard chickens yet? If not, my last selling point on raising chickens is that they are kid friendly. Bug loves to chase them around the yard (good for getting out those wiggles before a drive across town) and the Rhode Island Red hen variety are non-aggressive, so they’ve never even attempted to peck at her or chase her back.