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March 9th, 2013

I’ve been wanting to add more chickens to our flock for a while now. We average about 6 eggs a day from our flock of 7, that’s just enough for our breakfast. Mr Chiots and I each eat two eggs and the chiots gets two as well. This summer, we’re supposed to have a strapping young fellow living with us (more on that later), so I started checking Craig’s List for chickens a few weeks ago.
New Chickens 1 (1)
There was one lovely flock of 12 that I missed owning by only an hour. Then I came across a listing for 2 roosters and 4 hens. They were close, only about 15 minutes away. I contacted seller and we met Thursday night. I handed over $20 in the parking lot of the local Agway and she handed over 6 chickens. What a bargain!
New Chickens 8
This flock is a rescue. She works at a local animal shelter and from what I gather this flock showed up one day. They’ve been living in her barn for a while, she was making sure they were healthy and that the roosters weren’t mean. She guesses that they’re about 9 months old or so.
New Chickens 2 (1)
I ended up with 2 big roosters that are pretty docile so far (let’s hope that trait stays). The lady I got them from said her and her 12 year old daughter were picking them up and handling them every day to make sure they weren’t aggressive. They’re big handsome fellows, white and black with bright red combs and bright yellow feet.  We’re so happy to have a rooster once again, they do such a great job of protecting the ladies.
New Chickens 9
Along with these two handsome fellows came 4 hens. A big ginger one, a mostly black one, a buff one, and a reddish one. The lady I got them from guessed that they’re Wyandottes, though the ginger one might be a Buff Orpington. It’s hard to say, they could all be barnyard mutts.  I don’t know my chicken breeds very well. They lay four eggs a day though, so it doesn’t really matter.
New Chickens 4 (1)
Most people like to start flocks with chicks, I’d much rather start with older chickens. I don’t care if my chickens aren’t tame and don’t want to sit on my lap.   It’s also nice that I don’t have to feed and care for these chickens for 6 months before they start to lay, they’re already doing that.  Eventually, I’d like to get a few ladies that are skilled at raising their own, then they could raised chicks much better than I ever could.
New Chickens 6 (1)
I did a lot of research on how to integrate these birds into our flock. There are all sorts of ideas on how it should be done. Finally, I settled on the advice of an old-timer who said, “I just put the new chickens in the coop at night and in the morning they work out the pecking order.  I’ve been doing that for 50 years and have never had any serious issues.”
New Chickens 7 (1)
The new chickens were introduced into the coop on Thursday evening around 7, there was a lot of clucking and boking going on, but all of our current chickens pretty much stayed on their roosts. The next morning, I was up with the sun to check on them and make sure things weren’t getting out of hand.
New Chickens 3 (1)
Amazingly, there wasn’t much besides clucking, boking, and crowing going on. It was a loud day in the coop for sure, there was a constant hum of noise coming that direction. Every hour I headed out to check on everyone and all was well on each visit. There was a little big of pecking, chasing and fighting, but nothing worse than I’ve seen between the ladies in our current flock.  It looked like fairly normal behavior for establishing the pecking order.  Towards the end of the day it seemed everyone had worked out their differences.  I’ll continue to watch them closely for the next couple days to make sure nothing does happen.
New Chickens 5 (1)
Now I’m wondering when I can let them all out of the run to free range. The weather looks to be nice for the next couple days so they would certainly enjoy it, I just want to make sure they’ll all make their way back to the coop at night.  I certainly do not want to be hunting for chickens at dusk!

How many eggs, on average, are consumed per day in your home? 

26 Comments to “Welcome”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on March 9, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I usually have two and my son whose been here for a few months often cooks up 6-8. He is an avid biker and weight lifter so he uses them up.
    I’m planning on adding to my flock this spring with some new chicks and then I’ll need to remove some of the old girls. I ended up with 3 excess roos from some chicks I bought last June. This winter, they ended up in the stock pot. They created an abundance of excellent broth as well as being very tasty.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on March 9, 2013 at 7:10 am

    We eat a dozen a day if I have our own eggs. If I have to buy eggs, mostly I just don’t really eat them.

    At the moment, I’m only getting around three a day from the chickens. Obviously, we have some slackers, and I need more hens.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. Joan on March 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

    It’s crazy because we have nine laying hens and one rooster, but we don’t eat many eggs. My husband will usually eat a few on the weekend, and sometimes he’ll make crepes on Sunday. That’s it unless we make cookies or something… I sell the extras, but the chickens are definitely a money losing proposition. They are really fun pets though.

    Lets talk later in the year – I have two hens that usually go broody on me and I could probably tuck some of your eggs under them if you like. My rooster is a bantam, so I don’t really like to hatch out our own eggs.

    (To those who don’t know – I’m really lucky because Susy lives just half an hour away from me. We were so glad to have her move to our neighborhood!)

    Reply to Joan's comment

    • Susy on March 9, 2013 at 7:46 am

      That would be great, I’m watching the hens to see which one has a personality I really like. I think I’ll save eggs from her for hatching. So far I have my eye on one in particular.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Joan on March 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

        Great, I’ll let you know as soon as they go broody.

        to Joan's comment

  4. Maria Zannini on March 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Once your new chickens feel their coop is home, they’ll return all on their own at dusk.

    The only thing that will keep them away is if there are any quarrels or sense of isolation in the pecking order.

    I generally keep mine in during the winter because they don’t have much cover from hawks and coyotes.

    PS You got a great bargain on chickens!

    Reply to Maria Zannini's comment

    • Susy on March 9, 2013 at 7:47 am

      I thought it seemed like a bargain. I’m looking at 8 organic hens right now as well for $60, we’ll see if it works out.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Sherri on March 9, 2013 at 7:49 am

    We usually go through a dozen a day. Eggs are the perfect food (if raised naturally). We are very eager for our hens to free range as well but we still have a lot of snow on the ground – no ground in sight!

    Reply to Sherri's comment

    • Susy on March 9, 2013 at 7:52 am

      I’ve shoveled a pathway for them to get to the driveway, then they can reach the few areas where the sun has melted off the snow. They seem to appreciate getting out, even if it is just to walk around the driveway. I think they get cabin fever just like I do! Ours have been out whenever it’s not snowing/raining and I can get their run door open.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Elizabeth on March 9, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Sadly, I had to give mine up in our move last fall. We can’t have hens in our current local so I’ll have to wait a year or two for another move. I will have them again though, this I promise! We eat about three dozen eggs a week, teenagers! And I cook from scratch mostly. Today I’m determined to find a local source for eggs and attend a fiber festival! New reader to your blog, very nice.

    Reply to Elizabeth's comment

  7. Sheila on March 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I quit eating eggs when the town rezoned and made me get rid of my chickens. Eating mostly vegan now. If I get a chance to move I might have chickens again someday. Won’t eat eggs from the store, they are tasteless.

    Reply to Sheila's comment

  8. Christi {Jealous Hands} on March 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

    We usually eat 5 per day for breakfast. That of course doesn’t include what we use in baked goods or cornbread for supper. We are getting our flock in mid-April & can’t wait.

    Reply to Christi {Jealous Hands}'s comment

  9. whit on March 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Our family of three can devour about a dozen – dozen & a half a week. Unfortunately, our ladies lay 8 per day. :). One of the reasons i’ve been thinking of leaning more vegetarian lately.

    Your ginger hen is definitely a buff orpington. They are the breed who still have the broody tendency. We have two that do that 2 or 3 times a summer.

    Another good way to reduce quarreling is to give treats to everyone if you need to leave them in….we used to hang cabbage in the run. Keeps them focused on playing instead of each other.

    Reply to whit's comment

    • Susy on March 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

      I’m hoping she goes broody, I’d love to watch the process of a hen raising a clutch. Those Muscovies I have should be starting to lay here pretty soon as well, can’t wait for little ducklings to be running around!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. KimH on March 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Right now.. We just eat one or two.. On the weekends, we eat more. M’honey doesnt eat breakfast (shame on him) so its just me.. I go thru phases where I eat eggs every day for a while then I dont.. Im in a “dont” phase right now though I have 2 doz in my frig & I ordered 2 doz to be picked up today (from the CSA group) so Im seeing lots of eggs in my near future. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  11. judym on March 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    We usually get 12-13 eggs every day from our 13 hens. We eat eggs every day. Hubs makes an omlete every moring before he goes to work. We eat ’em for snacks, use them in potato salads and other recipes, etc. I give a few dozen to friends and family – some of whom donate to the “feed fund”. It was loads of fun giving eggs away during the holidays for all those Christmas cookies and such. Love having not to go to the store to get the “unfresh” ones. Your buff one looks like a Buff Orpington – a good dual purpose hen. Love those roosters. Look like Wyandots but not sure. I have Golden Buff hens – smaller but lay eggs like the big girls. We were told they were good for beginners. I’m planning on getting some other breeds later on – so far I’ve had no real problems with the ladies. I’m with you, Suz on the “chicks” thing. It was so much easier to start out with older chickens. we’re planning on getting a rooster with the next batch of chickens we acquire since we’re so “experienced” now!. Have fun with the girls and those majestic gentlemen!

    Reply to judym's comment

  12. Maybelline on March 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Our average daily egg consumption = 0.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  13. amy on March 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    We get between a dozen and a dozen and a half a day…..Our family of five consumes about a dozen in some capacity or other a day. The very best mamas for me have always been a bantam….I have had them hatch and rear fifteen to twenty babies at a pop and not lose a one…..They also are quite feisty and protective! My hens for the most part are free range and I would not even realize that one of them was setting until they showed up in the yard with chicks in tow:) You appear to have Wyandotte roosters….at least one buff…..and the fine black lady with the collar of orange….looks to be the same as one of mine….If so she will be a wonderful layer…..You may also have a Sussex mixture and a Welsummer….not sure but that is what they look like. Delighted for you!

    Reply to amy's comment

  14. Julie on March 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Wow–you got a lovely new flock at a bargain! I’m always such a coward when I introduce our new babies to the established flock, because our girls are truly pets. We started with 6 in the original flock, then added three more last spring that we bought as chicks–and we took a long time integrating them to make certain there wasn’t any tragic outcome. (We have a small enclosed run inside the large run, and we’d put the babies in there after they were about 6-8 weeks old so that everyone could get acquainted without getting injured.) Then, after another bit, we let them out together supervised. It’s so crazy–I know logically that they will work it out on their own, but since they are so dear to our kids, we overly supervise the process. Now, we plan on a couple more this spring, and I’m not looking forward to integrating another set of babies! ;-) Still, I do love raising chicks with the kids–and they learn so much about responsibility, which is an added bonus. (Our daughter showed one of her girls last year in 4-H, and this year both of the kids plan to show the new babies.) Who knew chickens would be so much fun? ;-)

    Reply to Julie's comment

  15. Chris on March 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve raised wyndottes before, and they are a good reliable broody hen. What is probably lacking at the moment is warmth. The triggers for my hens to go broody is the longer, warmer days. They find themselves the darkest spot in the coop and start their “bok-bok” noises as they nest.

    I don’t have wyndottes any more, but when I did, I found the boys extremely tame and the girls very friendly too. I was going to say the boys look like laced wyndottes. I used to have the gold-laced variety.

    You did get them for a good price when you consider the former owner probably would have spent more than you paid, on purchasing their feed for the short time they had them. :) In Australia, a point of lay gold-lace wyandotte hen, can start selling from $30 each.

    I cook gluten free, which can take 4-6 eggs per cake. Throw in bacon and eggs once a week, and we can easily go through a dozen eggs. We have 9 hens and get several dozen eggs per week. We get to sell any excess to work mates, which helps to suppliment the cost of feed. :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

    • Chris on March 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Did a recount, we have 11 hens!

      Reply to Chris's comment

  16. Deb on March 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Do you sell duck and chicken eggs then, Suzy? I would think with that many you’d have to. Or freeze or dehydrate for times they don’t lay as well. What will you do with all the baby ducks? Eat or sell them. I don’t know anyone around here that sells poultry, not even eggs very close. I’m getting chicks only because I don’t know how old hens on craigslist might be or what they’ve been fed. No luck here going that route. Don’t know how tame or mean they might be either. Driving to LaRue, Ohio to get my 6 hens and 1 roo. Just 2 of us but will sell to family or give them to kids. people ask me if it’s cheaper and I say YES cause I am healthier and they can get bugs and fertilize for me. Mine will be in a portable coop. Wish i could free range but until I cna get a fence around the property I don’t feel safe doing that. Can’t afford that yet. Nice to see your new addition works well for you and no major tussels.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Susy on March 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      I don’t sell eggs, we’ll actually probably eat most of them. Whatever we don’t eat will most likely be fed back to the chickens to save on feed.

      You’re right, it is cheaper to have chickens for eggs, especially for the quality of eggs that you get. And you get garden pest control and fertilizer as well!!!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. BeccaOH on March 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Nice deal. Your roos are Silver Laced Wyandottes. The speckled hen and the reddish one with small combs are a Wyandotte mix. The buff hen does appear to be a Buff Orpington.. I’m not sure about that dark red one. Hard to tell. Has some look of a Barnvelder. Looking at the roo’s spur bud, I’d agree that he is in his first year. I raised Gold Laced Wyandottes for a while and I did get a pretty mean roo. A lot has to do with their environment, the pecking order, other roos, etc. Enjoy your flock.

    Reply to BeccaOH's comment

  18. Natalie on March 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I enjoyed this post and all the comments! We buy our eggs from our neighbors. If I eat eggs everyday for breakfast, we probably go through a dozen and a half per week (my DH and I eat eggs on the weekend). If I also bake, it is easily 2 dozen.

    The chickens you have are pretty birds!

    Reply to Natalie's comment

  19. Megan on March 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    We eat about 1 1/2 doz a week but get about 8 eggs a day. Give most away to family. Used to let them free range but since I live close to some huge grain silos the trucks tend to drop some corn on the road. Chickens like the free food but we lost some to cars/semis, guess I will have to keep them locked up for now. Hopefully will move them out to the cow pasture in summer and hopefully they will stay off the road.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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