Chicken Homesteading

Ten fowl facts

Wondering what you need to know about chickens before you actually GET chickens? There are ten fowl facts everyone should know…

what you need to know about chickens

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Our first summer on our new homestead, we turned over gardens and planted vegetables and fruit trees. As we approached our second summer, my teen homesteader adopted new additions to our farm. And I learned some fascinating fowl facts.

If you’re considering taking the poultry plunge and adopting some wonderful hens, here is what you need to know about chickens:

1. For one thing, hens are beautiful. As a city girl, I never noticed this fact before.

what you need to know about chickens

2. Hens lay beautiful eggs. As a city girl, I never tasted this fact before.

what you need to know about chickens

3. In fact, each hen lays her own uniquely-colored beautiful egg. Our hens are all the same breed (Black Stars), and they are all three sisters, yet each one’s egg is a unique color.

4. The eagerness to know if each day’s bounty has been laid is enough to have teenage daughters rise early with anticipation–both the one who adopted the feathered pets and the one who has been grafted into the excitement.

5. The thought of catching a hen is seen as an intriguing sport to a Labradoodle, but discipled teen trainers can teach the creatures to co-habitate in peace. (More on that in the near future. We’re still working on it.*)

*Happy News: Our training has yielded great success! Read about the training techniques that worked for us in THIS POST.

what you need to know about chickens

6. If you have the room to let hens free-range, they cost very little to keep, definitely less than what we were spending on eggs at the grocery store every week. (They spend their days foraging for their own food–tasty bugs and insects–and even help keep your homestead free of some unwanted insects.)

what you need to know about chickens

7. On a homestead, no scraps are thrown away, ever. Most are wonderful treats for the hens. The scraps that the hens can’t have–caffeinated coffee and tea grinds, avocado, salty snack foods, potato peels, and citrus–go to the compost pile. Hens also shouldn’t have chocolate, but let’s face it, that NEVER gets thrown away around here.

8. Fresh eggs don’t need refrigeration! They are beautiful, God-designed packages. You see, they have a micro membrane coating on them called “bloom” that keeps potential baby chicks and their environment safe and clean. And that means as long as you don’t wash off the bloom, bacteria has a very hard time ever entering an egg shell. (Store-bought eggs have been bleached and their natural bloom removed.)

9. Hens need calcium in their diet, to produce strong shells. The best source? Their own egg shells! You do want to be sure to crush them up well, so the hens don’t realize the yummy tastiness is their own byproduct, because then the hens will start eating their eggs as they lay them, leaving none for you.

10. There’s more joy than one would imagine in walking back from the hen house, cracking open the daily provision, and whipping up breakfast.

what you need to know about chickens

what you need to know about chickens

With a fresh egg, the white is so much whiter and the yolk so much richer than any egg I have ever purchased. It’s a yummy little goodness worthy of great gratitude. And gratitude is just one more thing that my hens–and my daughters who care for them–are teaching me with each new day.

If you have a beloved pooch who may not find your hens as lovable as you do, definitely read this post—>

training-your-dog-to-be-chicken-friendly

 

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“What father among you, if his son asks for…an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then… know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give!” Luke 11:12

I am the LORD your God… Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalms 81:10 

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what you need to know about chickens

Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, enjoy musings about my centuries-old farmhouse, or glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades. I hope my focus always help you Keep it Simple while being Souly Rested on Christ.

And if you do have lots of fresh chicken eggs, you absolutely will need my Grandma’s Cheesy Egg Souffle recipe. You’ll have immediate access to this amazing recipe and lots of other subscriber freebies, in my subscriber resource library, as soon as you sign up right here. It’s extra easy peasy and trust me this souffle is one of my favorite go-to recipes ever.

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0 Comment

  1. I’m really enjoying your blog. We just got our first four hens last week – still anxiously waiting for them to start laying. Can’t wait to enjoy my first farm fresh egg!

    1. Ellen, We’ve been enjoying farm-fresh eggs for about 8 weeks now, and each one is still just as amazing as our first. I’ve been told that it never gets old, and I believe it. Just a few weeks ago I enjoyed the truly magical experience of scooping the warm egg out of the nesting box right as the hen was exiting the coop. I cradled it in my hands in amazement (not because it was fragile–far from it; fresh egg shells are very durable). I felt like this delicious, nutritious treasure was just laid as a gift for me. (My daughters have taken on all chores related to the chicken and until that day had always beat me to the job of gathering an egg.) Please share your excitement with me when you too experience the joy of gathering your own fresh eggs!

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