Back in the summer, me and my daughters welcomed a couple of chickens into the family. We got them to provide ourselves with a local source of protein.
I’m a vegetarian (my children are… mostly) and a lot of the protein sources I was using were heavily processed, packaged and shipped. I hadn’t been a huge egg eater until this point and then as part of my eco-friendly ideals I decided that eggs should really form one of our main sources of protein.
I hated the factory farming and the uncertainty about the conditions the chickens from shop bought eggs were living in and I thought well you can’t really get a more local source of protein than eggs from your own backyard can you?
So I attended a chicken keeping course (details below) and a few months later we went to collect our chickens. They are called Melody and Maisy. They are hybrid chickens so are really good layers. They were rescued from a family friend, who kindly donated them to us for free.
I was surprised by how great chickens are as pets let alone anything else!
They make some lovely noises when I go past them or come home and they’re not too noisy to annoy the neighbors thankfully. I don’t have a cockerel so that also reduces the noise.
Some of my family members were surprised to know that hens can still lay eggs without cockerels. In fact I personally prefer these eggs as a vegetarian as I know the egg will not create an actual chick.
But also, they are surprisingly tame and have brilliant personalities. Maisy is our naughty hen who likes to try and escape the run as often as she can and gets in the way whenever you try and clean her out. Melody on the other hand, is nice and laid back.
They both produce eggs nearly every day. Between the two of them I generally will come out with about 10-12 eggs a week. I give half to my parents and the other half I keep for us.
Maintenance and care is really easy, they’re fun to watch, they produce eggs and you know exactly where they come from and how the chickens have been treated. What more could you want?
I will write a little bit more about the general care and tips for chicken keeping in future posts but for now I just wanted to introduce our lovely pair of chickens and recommend that everyone should get some!
And don’t worry this lovely twosome have a very clear place in the FreEco Bus Plans!
The chicken keeping course I attended was at Bank View Farm