So I found a simple plan online for this A-frame chicken coop/tractor and my husband, my mother and I all built it over the course of a couple of weekends. Throughout the process, I was doing research on what kind of chickens would best suit our needs, and also trying to determine a source for said chickens. In our little town, which is a suburb of Atlanta, we are allowed to keep hens, but not roosters. You can have up to 6 chickens if your lot size is greater than 1/3 acre, and if you live on more than one acre, you can have 12 chickens per acre, up to a maximum of 36. No roosters, though – noise ordinances.
So a month went by and the chicken tractor sat forlorn in the back-backyard, without its feathered residents. Anytime I heard people talking about chickens (a woman I work with just got some chickens, another has a neighbor that just procured some, and a third recently purchased some for her parents) I was quick to ask them for their source. Oddly, none of them could tell me where they’d gotten their chicks.
So yesterday, we drove out to My Dad and Me Family Farmand purchased three beautiful Rhode Island Red hens. While we were there, my five year old was thrilled to get to hold a baby bunny and a tiny two-day-old kitten. He promptly decided that he needed a bunny and a kitten (our two dogs and three cats notwithstanding), and then he named the hens Fred, Sally and Tweety.
We got the ladies home, settled them into their new digs, and within an hour, one of them had laid this beauty in their feeder. I guess the nesting boxes that we’d provided just weren’t labeled clearly enough.
P asked me if there was a baby chicken living inside the egg, and I explained to him that these were eggs for eating, not eggs for hatching. I wasn’t ready to really explain the difference yet (although I did have to have a little tutorial later for my husband who wondered the same thing), but he seemed satisfied with my answer.
We cracked it open to use as part of our dinner last night, and the yolk was a beautiful deep orangey-yellow color, and the white was tight and fresh.
We are thrilled with this new addition to our family. The dogs aren’t really sure what to think (well, I’m pretty sure they’re thinking DINNER every time they see the strange creatures in the cage), but hopefully they’ll grow accustomed to their new feathered friends.
Do any of you keep chickens? If so, what kind do you have? We may want to add one or two to the flock, depending on how these gals do, so I’d love to hear from others who have some different breeds.