Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welcome to our new Chickens

Weve been wanting chickens for a while now but not owning the property was always a problem. Now that we do, we have dedicated a decent area in the back yard for a chicken run.
Using pallets and recycled timbre we have made a good sized coop within an encloser, fenced off with wire fencing.
Ive always thought the portable chicken coops were very small and didnt give the animals enough space to roam. Our run is about 5x8 meters with trees and lots of under growth for the chickens to scratch around in. Ive also been throwing tree and lawn cuttings in there which have become a treasure trove of bugs that the chickens have to scratch around in to prize them out. Its a generous amount of space for three chickens but thats one of the reasons we wanted to do this. In a time where so many house holds eggs are coming from battery farms we wanted to make sure ours were coming from healthy and well looked after birds. The other reason was to convert house hold food scraps into a high ranking source of protein instead of just compost.
Weve had our three Hy-line birds for a few months now and its been one of the best decisions weve ever made. Apart form getting three fresh eggs most days of the week ( some times one of them takes a day off ) they have added a new dimension to our back yard. Its amazing how social they are, infact we have trouble keeping them out of the house, they love to work with us in the garden getting all the newly exposed grubs from the dirt.
In terms of economics they are paying themselves off very well, even with the extra feed we buy them. But what is priceless is the fact that they are a source of protien, on our property that doesnt rely on the energy hungry infrastructure that our nabourhoods are all dependant on 24hours a day. They should be a part of everyones earthquake kit, because the place they usually get their eggs ( the supermarket ) wont be providing much of anything after a decient earthquake.
The most important thing you ned to consider if youve never owned animals befor is that, like any livestock they need t be looked after. They need a clean coop, lots of fresh water and food and space to roam and live a happy life.
So lets stop buying eggs from cage reared birds and get into owning your own chickens. You wont look back.

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