Friday, April 13, 2012


Chickens are one of the first animals people want to get when they are starting their homestead. They are  very easy to keep and raise. They eat very little if they are free ranging. They are great for bug control. In return they provide eggs, meat and feathers for fishing tackle. They are amusing to watch, a little violent in their breeding (for you first timers) and it is fun to hear the rooster crow and the girls talk. The rooster will call his girls over when he finds a tasty morsel. He will crow in the morning just to announce his domain. 

The girls gossip and chat to each other and will brag when they lay their eggs.

When the chicks are fully feathered and grown, you will see the "ear lobes" on the side of their head. The ones with the red ones will lay brown eggs, and the ones with the white will lay white eggs. After the first couple of eggs come, if you are observant, you will be able to tell which egg belongs to which hen as each egg is distinctive to that hen.

Each chicken will have their own personality. I have had a chicken that would always run to me and make her soft clucking sounds as if asking for a handout. She was always the first one to spot me coming out of the house.

    Interested in starting a small flock? In general, you can have 3 hens (no rooster or crowing involved) and easily get 14 eggs a week! That's 2 eggs a day! 
We have 15 hens and have eggs out the ears in the summer. What can you do with the eggs? You can have deviled eggs, quiche, custards,. You can pickle them, freeze them, add extras to cakes and other mixes. Have breakfast for supper at least once a week, and of course, sell them or give them to friends.

Advantages to chickens besides eggs: Chickens will eat ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, slugs, beetles, ants, maggots, grubs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, and even mice. This year I have heard the bugs may be overwhelming because the winter was so mild.

My favorite chickens are the Americana chickens - not to be confused with Araucanas. Americanas sold by hatcheries are  also called the Easter Egg Fowl. Most of the so-called Americanas in the US are mixes that carry some of the original genes and lay variously colored eggs: blue, green, or pinkish. These birds are sometimes (and more honestly) sold as Easter Egg chickens. The American Poultry Association recognizes a bird called the Ameraucana, which lays colored eggs and has muffs and a beard, not ear tufts, and comes in standardized color varieties, with slate colored shanks.

Easter Egger come in white  and vary  in a wide assortment of colors and types, black, buff, cinnamon, brown, red and white– along with various combinations of these colors. Some may have top knots, some have whiskers, and others have bunches of feathers growing from each side of the head near the ear region. They are good layers, with eggs medium to large in size. The colors vary in shade from pale to deep blue, green, pink, plus a few olive drab and an occasional antique gold. The Easter Egger is a hardy, vigorous fowl, resistant to disease and easy to raise. They seem to do well in all types of climate. A calm chicken, they are very easily tamed to become pets.

I'm sure my flock is a combination of the Easter Eggers and Ameracaunas. I also have White and Brown leghorns in the mix. And I'm excited to say I ordered Auracana eggs and will hopefully hatch out chickens with the ear tufts and blue eggs!


Brown eggs, blue eggs, white eggs and even some pink eggs are some of the fun of raising your chickens.

Here is an excellent page of a chicken breed chart to help get you started on choosing the chicken for you! click here




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