The first thing I wanted to add to our little farm was chickens. My cousin was generous to donate a temporary coop for us to use until our permanent one was ready. Once I had the coop, it wasn’t long before I filled it up.
After doing some research and craigslist homework, I found a chicken lady about an hour from us. She raises chicks up to be laying hens and sells them off. It’s a good deal for us because I don’t have to go through the trouble of raising chicks for a year before we get eggs. The downside is the expense. Laying hens cost more because they are already producing. It was worth the investment the first time, but I think at some point in the future if I want to grow the flock I’ll need to start from chicks. That will be its own adventure of course.
Cinnamon Queens are a cross breed of Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island White. They were fairly skittish at first but now they come up and peck my legs when I bring them food. Is that a chicken kiss? I don’t know. It’s probably more of a “hey, stop messing around and feed us already”.
We came up with names but I can’t really tell them apart. Plus, I don’t have enough names to go around. Here are the names:
- Hens Solo
- Princess Laya
We chose the Cinnamon Queen breed because they are prolific brown egg layers and fairly cold hardy. They’re also decent size, so a hawk can’t easily fly off with one. (We did lose one to a hawk though and I was sad.)
We started with twelve and we’re down to ten currently. We lost one to a hawk as I mentioned and another to an unfortunate run-in with Dan’s truck tire. To his credit, he was looking for her in the dark and hit her as he was pulling his truck into the field to get a better look.They come running when they hear my voice or see me. I like to think that I’m a soothing force, but really it’s because I feed them.
Right now we’re getting about 8 eggs/day which we typically use. We eat eggs every morning plus other recipes that I use eggs in. I think if we ever want to get to the point where we could sell the eggs at the farmers market or just to friends & family we’ll have to considerably increase the size of the flock. So maybe I should go ahead and get some chicks? 🙂