October 03, 2010

Homesteading with Chickens

Getting chickens for the homestead last summer was one of the best choices we have ever made.  We began with five full grown chickens, which slowly became more than a dozen (and a guinea) because we had so much fun with them.  Yes, they are messy and can be extra work, but they are very enjoyable and worth their weight in gold.  We have struggled with sickness, cold temps and hawks and we cry when we lose one, however, the good really outweighs the bad.  To say the least, our first winter with chickens was a real learning experience.  When spring came, we felt more confident with what we were
doing and decided to attempt some chicks, so right before Easter, we brought home six chicks from the local feed store.  Just as our older chickens went into their molt, these precious chicks, now almost full grown, have began to lay.  They aren't even full grown yet and they are laying like clockwork!  
Sometimes there is nothing prettier than a basket full of beautiful fresh eggs, especially when there is a lot of baking to be done.  This basket contains eggs from a Cinnamon Ameraucana, Black Austrolops, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, Partridge Cochins, Red Sex Links and Black Sex Links (these names always make me uncomfortable, who came up with these breed names anyway), and one White Jersey Giant.  Needless to say, we have quite a variety.  Our dear daughter came running to the house, barely able to contain her excitement, after spending time in the hen house the other day.  
Apparently she had discovered one of our Easter chicks fixing to lay an egg in a nest box, so she waited to see what happened.  In her hand she held the biggest egg I believe I've ever laid eyes on.  It is pictured in the egg basket and also again by the ruler.  It actually measured 2 3/4".  
Dear husband figured it was a double yolker so dear daughter decided to cook it up right away to find out.  Sure enough, it had the two prettiest yolks in it!  I tried to explain to her that a double yolker is actually a mix up and not a normal thing, but she is determined to believe that this chicken is very special and will continue to lay these remarkable eggs.  The faith of a child is an incredible thing so I hope she is right!  Logic dictates otherwise, but for now, this special chick (hen) is being treated like a queen.   


  1. Nothing better then fresh farm eggs!!!
    And I LOVE your blog Sharon. You've done a great job with it and I'll be visiting OFTEN!
    :) Pam

  2. You've got that right Pam! It's like Christmas walking out to the chicken coop every day. I haven't had to buy eggs in over a year and can supply my family with them too. Thank you for your sweet words and I hope to see you back soon! Speaking of seeing you, how long has it been? Let me know next time you're in our neck of the woods....maybe we can get together and take your Mom out?

  3. Hi! Can you tell me what breed of chicken is shown in the photo of this post? Thank you

  4. Hello Mary! The chickens pictured at the top are Red Star Links. Some call them Red Sex Links too. They are extremely good layers!


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