Its been a little while since I have given an update on our flock so here I go…
The chickens started laying towards the end of the summer. It started with one or two hens laying and everyday there would be one more egg than the day before. Until finally we were getting an average of 9 per day (which means one per chicken). Now that the weather has turned and the days are shorter we get between 4 and 6 most days.
The eggs are rich, fluffy and delicious!! After our first week of eggs we decided to do an experiment.. eggsperiment?.. Toby and I cooked up some scrambled eggs with store bought eggs we had left and some with our eggs.
Immediately after cracking the eggs you could see the difference. Our yolks were a darker deeper yellow and our whites were layered (one tight thick portion around the egg and a second more watery layer).
It was much easier to scramble the store bought eggs. Our tried desperately to hold their form but once they were scrambled they had a gorgeous colour and texture.
The cooking process was identical but in the end our eggs were prettier, fluffier and tastier.. but then again I may be biased.
Toby did not taste a huge difference with the scrambled eggs but was blown away when he tried the soft boiled yolks side by side.
We have had all sorts of crazy eggs. Some without shells, some double yokers, big ones, small ones, fat ones, tall ones.. all of the shapes and sizes!
We moved them into a fancy new coop that I found on Kijiji. It was a fantastic deal and they seem to be a great deal happier. We have continued allowing the flock to free range and they take full advantage despite the weather. We have ourselves a fierce bunch of birds. The coop is so pretty!! I love love love it!! It works perfectly for our little family of birds. The previous owner had insulated it, installed heat lamps and kept it in pristine condition. It was a really great find! Next summer I am planning on increasing the size of the flock, which will mean a larger coop or a second coop.
Toby named our Rooster Hooch because he is CRAZY! He has it in for me I swear!! He and I have had a few not so fun run-ins, but we keep him around because he does a fantastic job of protecting the ladies. Whenever a large bird flies over head he calls all the ladies to hide in the bushes, he also makes sure they are all within sight during the day. Hooch even fought a dog once! We had been dog sitting for a friend and didn’t think hard enough about how hard it would be with our many animals. The dog had already seriously injured one of our goats so we made arrangements for him to stay in a friendlier environment. As I was bringing him out to the car he and Frisket managed to push through the door ahead of me and take off. The dog ran straight for the chickens and Hooch ran to meet him. They fought and admittedly the dog was winning but Hooch sure put up a fight. Frisk and I managed to save Hooch before he got hurt.. it was still very scary. Currently he is looking very fierce on account of the frost bite on his comb. It will bleed sometimes making him look like a zombie chicken.. which is mildly terrifying. Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do to prevent the frost bite. He refuses to stay inside when it is cold and we don’t think he will wear a toque. The next rooster I choose will be better suited to our climate.
Other than that there is not a lot going on with the chickens. They are a wonderful addition to the farm and we really appreciate the eggs. I highly recommend anyone who has the space look into backyard chickens.