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This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 7 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Backyard Chickens!

Yes friends, I now have chickens in my backyard! I have been wanting to get some for quite awhile and did not pursue it this year because I thought we would be moving.....obviously that did not happen! I got tired of waiting so I took matter into my own hands and bought 3 hens from a local farmer!

I have reviewed the laws in my town for restrictions and was happy to find that just a couple of years ago they passed a more relaxed ordinance pertaining to "urban farming". I can not have a rooster, no more than 4 hens, and they have to be at least 25 feet from the closest house. Check!

Our backyard is terraced with a lower area at the back that we really don't use. It doesn't have much grass because of a constant cover of leaves and pine needles. It is pretty sheltered by the trees and our backyard is very secure with 8ft fence all around. The only critters I have seen back there are rabbits and an occasional possum.

They will be free range chickens so I got some chicken wire and fenced up a large area for them to forage around in. It can be easily moved around and relocated for a change of scenery.


I saw the idea for their nesting box online and thought it was pretty ingenious! It is a large Rubbermaid tote with a hole cut into it. I can easily open the top to get eggs or check on the hens, it is tough enough to protect them from the weather/rain, easy to clean out, and cheap! I lined it with straw and they slept all night in it.



When I got up this morning to feed them and check on how they were adjusting, I saw all 3 out in the yard enjoying their new home! They were eating goodies in the grass and seemed happy! I don't think I will leave their feeder out over night just in case it attracts nocturnal critters that want to eat their food.
 

The farmer I got them from said they are a few months old and may not lay for awhile due to the stress of a new location, and because of their young age. The red hen is larger than the white ones, and seems just a bit more skittish. The white hens don't like her too much, but maybe they are just adjusting to each other. The red one will lay larger brown eggs, and the white ones will lay smaller cream colored eggs. I can't wait to have homegrown eggs from my backyard!

I have done a lot of reading online about caring for backyard chickens and how to store the eggs. Fresh eggs have a natural coating (called the "bloom") that prevent bacteria from getting inside. If you don't wash them off, they can be stored at room temperature for several weeks! If you wash them off, you need to store them in the fridge. Eggs from the store have been washed and scrubbed so that is why they are refrigerated. Also since mine are free range, the eggs are supposed to taste better due to the improved diet and natural foraging. Stay tuned to see how it goes!

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1 comment:

  1. That is so cool! I really want backyard chickens once we're settled in a location that will allow for it! The eggs that we buy here on campus from "the egg guy" aren't washed, and it was a weird adjustment for me to get used to buying warm, unrefrigerated eggs. I love it now, though, because it means I can buy a couple dozen at a time and not worry about having to have room in the fridge for them!

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