Well, since the last post showed those adorable little fluff balls, let's see what's going on with them now...
Late last summer Stephanie, Kent and I carried chickens from their brooder to their chicken tractor in the yard.
Steph is a pro-wrangler - she's got a trio of cacklers there
13 went to live with Kathy at her house - that left 32 chickens and while the weather is nice the tractor does a fine job as a home base. But when the weather becomes inclement, we knew we needed a more substantial shelter for them.
Enter my amazing husband and his ability to plan and execute most anything he can dream up. This is a 10' x 12' building with two windows, clear panels in the roof to let in natural light, electric light inside and a switch to run a heat lamp when necessary. It's like the Ritz-Carlton of chicken accommodations.
Let's open the door and see what those fluffballs look like these days. Hey, there's Foghorn!
There are six nest boxes on one side of the building. Nice and cozy, with plenty of privacy.
But I can lift the roof to retrieve eggs or when it's time to clean them out. I actually designed and helped build the nest boxes. They are probably more substantial than necessary but I really got into the project.
And we can see that they use them to lay eggs. And ping pong balls. Actually, I put the balls in there when the boxes were new to the chickens to give them the idea of what they were for. It seems to have worked. We rarely get eggs laid anywhere else these days.
Hey ladies, what do you think of all this luxury?
They are the happiest chickens I have ever witnessed. You can tell how content they are by spending even a short time with them. They are healthy, curious, non-agressive
Because what do happy chickens do? They lay eggs.
Lots of eggs.
Just. so. many. eggs.
So now I am on the quest to find the best ways to preserve eggs for when the ladies stop laying. Although we are getting 19-22 a day right now, eventually they will molt and we will remember these days with fondness. I'm pursuing two preservation techniques - 1. drying raw eggs and powdering them for baking and scrambling and 2. using waterglass (sodium silicate) to store whole eggs for frying and when whites are needed.
Oh, and I'm selling them. $2.50 a dozen. Let me know how many you want.