We Chickened Out for Eggs | Part 2
We Chickened Out for Eggs | Part 2
A large black pick-up truck arrived in our driveway five months ago and changed our lives.
There were four young chickens in the back about to be introduced to their new family and home. Their owner is our neighbor who has a homesteading farm and years of experience to share with us to make sure we started our chicken raising experience off successfully.
From how to feed, how to pick them up, where they lay eggs, to how to make sure they are comfortable in their new home. He covered it all before leaving us with the reassurance that we can reach out to him for any support needed.
Since then, they have quickly become part of our family.
Similar to adjusting to bringing new people into your home, there are still things to learn. Surprisingly, they are more intelligent and entertaining than expected which extends their benefit of providing eggs beyond a monetary value.
In a study pasture-raised eggs, from chickens given space to peck for food, are more nutritious than industry-sourced eggs, with pasture-raised eggs containing two to three times more omega-3 fatty acids and one-third the cholesterol of factory-farmed eggs. With certified organic chicken feed available, you can keep your chickens healthy while supporting sustainable farming.
At the beginning, every day they left 2 eggs in the nesting boxes. About a month ago, they started leaving our regular two eggs and one large egg. Confession, I was afraid of the large egg! My husband was the brave one who cracked it and discovered two yolks were in the large egg.
A double-yolked egg occurs when two egg yolks are released into a hen’s oviduct too close together and end up encased within the same shell. Generally, about an hour after an egg is laid, the next yolk is released, but due to hormonal change/imbalance, an overstimulated ovary sometimes misfires and releases the yolk too early. The shell forms around both yolks and results in a single egg. It’s far more common to find double-yolked eggs from new layers or those hens on the tail end of their laying life.
This week, we have started seeing 4 eggs daily in their nesting boxes. When they arrived, two of the chickens were younger. Our assumption is those were the ones laying the double yolks which are now separate eggs for us to collect.
We had a surprise day of snow down here in the Carolinas and the chickens were as confused as we were. Here’s what I did:
- Opened their coop and made them a walking path
- Put their food and water inside the coop and in their normal area
The two older chickens were brave enough to venture outside of the coop, however, the younger ones had no desire to leave for the entire day. The snow melted by the next day, they were back to their normal routine.
So far, our seasonal change has quickly transitioned from winter to a hot hazy summer. The chickens have a fence in their area that they rotate around depending on the location of the sun. Water is the main focus so far, making sure they have fresh, cold water throughout the day has been the main challenge. As the days become warmer, they drink water faster.
Here’s our daily routine:
At around 8 am:
- Open their coop and spread chicken feed across the yard for them to eat
- Clean their tray of poop, using the wooden divider in the nesting box (I put it in the garden because it works as a great compost)
- Fill their water bowls on each side of the fence with fresh cold water
At around 6 pm:
- Check their nesting boxes and remove any eggs
- Throw chicken feed into the coop and close the door when chickens run in to eat
What has changed in your life so far this year? Jumping outside of our comfort zones into a new way of life is full of lessons and insight about the things you are truly capable of accomplishing and sharing with the world.