Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just another exciting day on the farm

Here's a picture of yet another egg one of our silly chickens insists on laying outside of the coop. Every morning, we let them out into the yard, and Dorothy eats, drinks, and then flies over the 5 ft fence to lay her egg. We took out the 5 gallon bucket nest boxes that got so many great reviews in the chicken community (yep, there's a community) and put in a big bin full of grass that she might find more comfortable. But now that she has gotten used to laying outside the fence, she insists on doing that. However, another chicken has also started laying (obediently, in the next box) so now we're getting a white egg AND a brown egg every day!

We had a tree in our back yard that we thought was a crabapple tree, because it had pretty pinkish-white flowers both springs that we've owned our house. Part of the tree is laying down across the ground, which makes it take up more space in the yard. Eric wanted to cut the part that is laying down to clear more yard space, but thankfully he didn't get to it this spring, because it turns out it was an apple tree! The first spring we didn't live in the house, it was still being built, so we must have not noticed, and last year the apple crop in Michigan failed because of a late frost, so we didn't see it last year.

There's also another huge apple tree just outside our property on city land, and the apples are ripe there too. We spent part of the afternoon picking apples from both trees, and I have big plans for canned applesauce.

The kids are really enjoying having an all-you-can-eat apple buffet in the backyard! Each time we go outside has become snack time with beans, cucumbers, and peppers eaten fresh from the garden, and now they have fruit

The white chicken is Dorothy, she has been giving us an egg every day for the past couple of weeks.

And while he hasn't crowed, this guy is decidedly a rooster. He must have heard our rule, 'if you crow, you go' because even though he's doing all the other things that mature male chickens do, he's keeping his beak shut :) This is our last rooster, and we're undecided if we're going to raise babies next year or just add a couple of older hens to our flock.

After he goes we'll be down to 11 chickens, which sounds like a lot but really doesn't look like much running around their yard. We have 2 chickens that will lay white eggs, 8 that will lay brown eggs, and 1 that will lay greenish or bluish eggs. I'd like to add more green/blue egg layers next year, just for fun. 5 of our chickens were bred to be good egg layers and will lay an egg just about every day for the first year or 2, and then production slows down and eventually they'll become dinner too. The other chickens will probably not lay as often, but production will probably slow down after a couple of years too. So every year we'll probably add a couple of new chickens and in a year or so we'll start eating a couple every year too, when they stop producing, to make room for new layers.

Local family and friends, you may be recieving the gift of farm fresh eggs as more chickens start laying and we have a bounty of new eggs each day. They are delicious and cook up so fluffy!
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