I’m so EGGcited to say my three older hens are finally laying!
I have had them since they were chicks out of my original straight run flock of 6 Rhode Island Reds. Three of those six were the roosters I had to give away after an unfortunate incident. One of the roosters had tried to peck at my little guys eye and, in the following panic, I lost track of which of the roosters was the culprit, so they all had to go.
There was a lot of uncertainty over whether or not my hens would lay at all this winter, as even older chickens often stop laying entirely during the cold and dark winter months. The first day I found two eggs, one actually rolled out of the coop door the moment I opened it to let the chickens out for the morning. I was so excited I ran and woke my poor husband up (who was working night shift that day) just to put two small brown eggs in his confused and drowsy face.
I have never had farm fresh eggs before, at least not this fresh. Normally, your store bought eggs are already weeks old by the time they go on the shelves. That first day, I was so excited to cook up my eggs and get to see for myself if there was really any difference from farm fresh and store bought at all. I am happy to report that the difference is there and farm fresh comes out on top!
This difference in taste may also be partly due to my chickens being able to free range. We’re lucky enough to have several acres so I don’t necessarily have to worry about fencing the chickens in, more so just worry about any hawks lurking around. With all that free ranging, these chickens get to pick up more grass, bugs, seeds, etc. that are great for producing more flavorful eggs. I don’t believe there is much nutritional difference between free range eggs or store bought though.
Regardless, I love that all of these cold winter mornings bringing out warm oats and water has finally led to bringing warm food back to the kitchen. Within the next two months, my remaining 6 pullets should be of age to start laying as well. With 9 hens, all of which are good egg-laying breeds, I’m hoping we’ll be seeing a surplus of eggs that I may even be able to sell to friends and neighbors so that I can finally cover the ever growing cost of chicken feed, haha!
In the next coming months I’m truly excited for a few other additions I’m looking to bring to our little home. I will be taking a beekeeping class with a friend in early March, with hopes to have my own hive either quickly following the class or early next spring. I also recently won $100 off a Garden Tower from The Garden Tower Project based out of Indiana! With plans to have a ground based garden next to the chicken coop, I think a tower garden on the deck next to our bedroom (maybe with herbs and flowers) would compliment it greatly.
All I know now is I cannot wait until spring!