Would you like a chance to win a free copy of "Chickens in Five Minutes A Day?" McMurray Hatchery is offering their new book to one lucky Chickenblog reader! Leave a comment here, at Chickenblog, and your name will be tossed into The Fez! Link to us on your Facebook page, and we'll give you two chances to win this book. Do it, for yourself, or a friend, or your school library. Chickens are hip, and cool, and this is your chance to get the scoop on some of the fun! We will draw a name on the first day of May.
It's spring and many bloggers are posting about their new chicks! They all look so dear, and seeing them makes me eager to bring some little ones into our small flock. We're waiting for our new chicken run and coop to be complete, so we can enjoy our hens, and new chicks, while they are safe and comfortable. It pays to be patient, I've learned!
I was asked about how much time I spend devoted to the chickens, each week. That's a good question! I think having a proper set up is what makes taking care of a small flock of chickens easy, and minimally time consuming. Things like automatic waterers, and a coop that opens into an enclosed run can add a great deal of convenience and safety for your hens. Clean water, secure living space, fresh food, an interesting space to scratch and dust bathe, and a clean coop make a flock happy and healthy. And a happy, healthy flock can take less time to tend. However! If you are thinking only of eggs, or if you are looking for a pet to mind it's own business... well, you'll be missing out. Chickens are fun, and engaging, and time in their company rarely feels like a chore.
Observing hens, sitting with them, following them around the garden... not only are these pleasant and rewarding ways to pass the time, but they can alert you to health issues, and other concerns. Some days are full, and it's enough to feed them, check their water, and toss in some fresh straw, but when time permits, I am very happy to be in their company. Actually, they follow me when I am in the garden. They know if I am pulling weeds there will be good finds in the loosened soil. And they always appreciate the bugs stirred up when I putter around, or the bits of veggie scraps I share with them.
She liked to sit in my lap, and have her neck scratched. She would nod off contentedly in my arms.
All three of our first hens were mild and tame, completely at ease roaming our two acre farm. They always came running when we called them. At the time, with our grandparents living with us, we were a family of seven, and our three hens gave us plenty of eggs through the week. You really can enjoy fresh eggs with a small flock, and it makes it easier to feel connected and familiar with your hens, when there isn't a mob of them!
Chickens really are a pleasure to keep. With thoughtful planning, and a few dedicated minutes a day, with some extra time for maintenance, they can be safe and happy hens. Though, no doubt you won't be counting the minutes when you are enjoying their company!