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I have the cutest little chickalettas, and it's been awhile since I've shared them with you. Raising backyard chickens for eggs is hilarious, heartwarming, easy, and ultimately bountiful. Every morning, I head out to the chicken coop with Milo (stray cat /turned barn cat /turned snuggle cat) I'm always in my pajamas and farm boots, coffee in hand. We let the chickens out, check their food & water, chat them up a little. Charlie Brown is always frantic about something, she is the biggest hen, and she is in charge of everyone.
Later in the day I take them a treat box, a bunch of food scraps I've collected throughout the day. They love to eat anything, especially if it has seeds. I give them a little cracked corn, and meal worms too. In return they give us 6 eggs a day (warmer longer days), or 3 eggs a day (colder shorter days). Right now, we are really thankful for these chickens.
The grocery stores have been out of eggs since the pandemic started. When they do get them in, there is a limit of one dozen per family. One dozen wouldn't last long for us. Between our family eating eggs every morning, and using them for baking...we would need a dozen every two days. In addition to the Food To Stockpile In Your Pantry, I strongly believe every family needs to be raising backyard chickens for eggs.
Why You Should Be Raising Backyard Chickens For Eggs
Two days ago my husband went out to Tractor Supply to pick up chicken feed, there was no chicken feed. The cashier told him people had made a run on chickens, and subsequently chicken feed. Thankfully, it's chick days right now and they have hundreds of chickens in the store. I was happy to hear that people suddenly realized they could produce their own eggs in their backyard (or meat, cringe); not happy that there was no feed. In the end we got feed (3 bags so we don't go out again).
When the grocery stores are out of eggs, you will have plenty.
If you lose your job, you will have protein. Combined with a stocked pantry, you will be okay for awhile no matter what comes your way.
Do you live in a neighborhood, get chickens. Against the rules? Who's gonna check you right now? Life will change after this pandemic subsides (remember to plan on this lasting a year) and more and more people will work toward a sustainable lifestyle.
Chickens are VERY easy to take care of. They are happy with just about anything, they just need food, water, and straw. They are picky about not having straw (or other bedding). If you take care of them, they will faithfully give you eggs every single day.
How Much Does It Cost To Take Care Of Backyard Chickens?
I will tell you our costs based on 6 well fed chickens. We go through about a bag of feed every month, that costs around $7.00. They need a half bail of straw for bedding every two weeks. A bail of straw is around $5.00. They drink a lot of water, you will have to calculate that if you are paying for city water. The basic costs are around $13.00 per month. Six eggs a day from the store would cost around $50.00, so you come out ahead. Food security though is priceless, as we have just found out.
Keep in mind that chickens will start laying eggs around 9 months old, so buying chicks is an investment in the future. Look on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for a farmer around you will older chickens. Most of the chicks at Tractor Supply and other farm stores are meat chickens. Meat chickens can be harvested in 7-8 weeks. If you can't find meat in the grocery store, this is an option for you.
Do you raise chickens for meat too?
We get most of our chicken from my family's NC farm, where my Dad and brother in law are okay with raising them for meat. On our farm, we are pretty much here for the hugs. Our chickens are pets that happen to lay eggs for us. We would if we needed to though or become Vegetarians...I'm okay with that.
Do you have chickens? Do you want chickens? Let's talk about it in the comments below.