Winter and the chickens

Our chickens have been living in too much mud, although they have a large, well strawed, clean chicken coop to consider.We have a bobcat that loves it’s weekly/bi-weekly organic chicken dinner, finally showing up in the middle of the day staring my husband down, has prevented the chickens more freedom. The only way we will let them out is if we are right there the whole time they are out.Luckily here in Calif. we still have all kinds of greens in the garden and I can feed them buckets of kale, chard, arugula and spinach daily My husband can just tell them firmly “get in the coop” and they all run back in. If I try that they just keep eating, they don’t even look up. Needless to say I end up there for long days when I let them out. Chickens automatically will go back into their familiar home when the sun goes down.

We started out with twenty five Buff Orpingtons. Beautiful, gentle as their reputation, large sized chickens. They are now three years old, and the egg production slowed way down after about two plus years.We don’t have the nerves developed yet to get the remaining few, about seven, to the stew pot. Need to work on that. We should have bought the next chickens earlier, a year and a half would be a good schedule. Our young Black Orpington’s are now really laying and we are starting to get almost a dozen a day. We were marketing some eggs and had a good trade system for some as well before the laying slowed down. Because we waited to renew our flock, we now have to develop new clients.The cost of the organic feed needs to be off set with some financial gain. It’s very expensive to feed all these critters, our monthly costs are a constant balance.
Baking with those eggs has spoiled me for good. Never have I tasted cakes, lemon curd, pancakes so good. During Christmas I baked a yeasted Challah bread. It called for a certain weight of eggs to the recipe. I ended up with nine loaves of 30oz. Challah and used 27 eggs. It came out so good! Baked in the brick oven.
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3 Replies to “Winter and the chickens”

  1. Hi Katie,
    Your fruit trees are huge and I loved the pruning tips.
    Great chickens, printed them, but I’m low on ink, need to get more and do it again.
    Ed’s coming home today and hopefully won’t have to go back for awhile. Love, Mom

  2. i love those photos of your chickens!! if tomek hadn’t turned every square inch of our yard into raised beds i’d get some too : )

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