What to Give Your Chickens

chicken_blkforestco_20100411_lah_2118You have gifts for your parents and gifts for your kids. You have a gift for Aunt Claire and a gift for Uncle Bob. You even have a gift for your dog. But what about your chickens?

If you culled your flock last month, perhaps your remaining hens are glad just to have another year of dust baths and fresh air. But don’t stop there… hens are actually very easy to “shop” for.

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Eggs!

pullet-eggs_lah_2165After a fox attack last spring, we’re down to only three aging hens and six five-month-old pullets. Instead of giving eggs to all our friends, I’ve had to buy them at the market. So this morning, after being out of town for the weekend, I walked out to the coop hoping to find an egg, or maybe two. Instead, there were close to a dozen!

Yup. A month ahead of schedule, our new pullets have become egg laying hens.

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Composting with Chickens

eggs-and-chickens-067It’s time to clean out the chicken coop. All summer my little flock has been happily picking weed and grass seeds out of the straw I spread in their coop last spring. At the same time, they’ve broken down the big pieces of grass stem into finer shreds. And, best of all, they’re balanced all that carbon with some nice, hot chicken manure.

Now that the weather has cooled a bit, I’m willing to venture out to the coop with a rake, scoop, and wheelbarrow. All that compostable material is heading for my veggie garden.

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Chicken Attraction

chicken_blkforestco_2200411_lah_2205r2-1

My therapist lives in a chicken coop. Yup. We have (currently) six hens. Whenever I need some reassurance, I head out to the shed where they live. I tell them all my problems. In fact, I can tell them anything; hens are experts at keeping secrets. When I’m finished complaining, they come around and bwaaaaak and braaap at me. Hens must make the most comforting noises in the animal kingdom! My hens always help me feel better, and they don’t charge $100 an hour.

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