Chickens are a must have when homesteading. Heck, they’re great in the suburbs even! Chickens are very low maintenance, cheap to feed, and produce a lot of food. A healthy hen in her prime and with good conditions can produce an egg a day. An egg will provide you with 5 grams of healthy fat, 6 grams of protein, and about 80 calories. Eggs are some of the best fuel that you can put in your body, especially if you produce them yourself and don’t get them from the supermarket.
Due to reasons previously explained in Playhouse to Chicken House, we are starting with four chickens. This isn’t enough to feed us when you consider that I eat 3-4 eggs a day for breakfast. Like anything in life, it’s good to get your feet wet before jumping in the deep end. We will hone in our chicken raising skills with these four hens and when we are confident we can handle more, we’ll add more.
Our plan is to eventually have a couple dozen hens laying and maybe a couple of roosters. This would provide us with more than enough eggs and we’ll be able to sell or give away any extras. In order to do this we’ll have to build a bigger chicken coop, which is in the budget for next spring.
We’ve had the chickens for a few weeks now and other than an incident with one of our dogs they’ve been very easy and stress free. We free range them as often as possible, which makes feeding them even cheaper! I let them out in the morning and let the dogs in our house (they’re not trained to not eat chickens yet). The chickens will scavenge our woods all day long and as soon as the sun goes down they go back in their house. It’s really as simple as opening the door in the morning and shutting the door in the evening.