Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nings Chickens

These are 3 of Ning's 4 hens. See earlier entrys for them as baby chicks. They are laying 3 to 4 eggs daily. One of the Rhode Island Reds is the 'star' chicken, largest eggs and most reliable, the other Rhode Island Red is the developmentally challenged hen, laying fragile eggs that almost never make it to the kitchen. The others (I dont know their variety) are in between.

So far, they are keeping up with us, although we did have to makde a plateful of deviled eggs so that we didnt waste any.

They eat a lot of the kitchen scraps that otherwise would go to the compost pile. They actually still do, since once they go through the chicken the result heads to the compost.

The hen house was built from scraps of 2X4, parts pulled out of the old bathroom (the flooring is former cabinet), and one sheet of outdoor grade siding. It opens from the top for easy egg collection. We haven't made Winter plans yet, may need to insulate their roosting house (purchased separately) or build something new.

Here are my thoughts on why home yard chickens are environmentally friendly:
* They can be fed kitchen scraps and food that is owtherwise wasted, and they convert it into food for us (eggs) or the garden (chicken poop). Of course, they do get regualr chicken feed and oyster shells for egg strength.
* Growing them at home is cleaner than chicken factory farms, no massive waste.
* Growing them at home connects the gardener to their source of food, creating a deeper connection to nature and where we fit into our food chain.
* They eat bugs and slugs, converting them into food.
* These chickes are housed in an area that I could never rid of bishop weed. They seem to have eradicated it. They are good at killing plant life under foot, when needed (and even when not needed, but I'm listing the positives here).

Here is a question: if they eat oyster shells, and the chicken converts them into the eggshell, does that make eggs seafood?

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