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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Money Saving Chicks!

 Here in rural Maine, we have some advantages to compensate for the long drives to reach, well, just about anywhere we want to go~ the ability to keep family farms.

Sean and I rescued 8 "battery hens" last year. In the mix we got 2 Black Rocks, 1 Buff Orpington, and 5 Rhode Island Reds. When we got the girls, they had been living, 80 hens, completely indoors in a small room without windows. They looked like they were nearly ready for the stew pot, plucked and bleeding. It was awful. We weren't sure they would still lay eggs, but we knew that even if they only kept the slugs and bugs down, it would be worth the price of feeding them. So, we took them home.
It took some work to tame them, as you can imagine, but by the end of last summer, they would come when we called and allow us to pet them.

Of course, chickens will not lay eggs indefinately. Our girls are producing some extra large eggs, which means that they will be slowing and stopping sooner than later. So, we planned on getting 6 more younger gals to add to our flock. On the way home from visiting friends in the Rockland congregation last Sunday, Sean and I stopped by a neighbor's house because of the sign outside that read: chicks $2. We had to see them.
Wyandotte chick 3 weeks old

 The chicks were housed in a barn, inside a wooden box with an incubation light to keep them toasty warm and healthy. As we looked around, older chickens were happily walking around, doing their chicken thing. So, of course... we bought 6. The "peepers" have begun getting feathers and ventured outside with us these past two days to enjoy real sun. It won't be very long before they join the older ladies.
The bounty from the last 3 days.
How much do you spend on organic, farm fresh, free range eggs? Around here, you can easily expect to pay $2.50-$3.00 each dozen. I sell mine for $2.50. The young ones should start laying before fall. Our family uses between one and two dozen eggs each week, the rest, I sell to neighbors, family, and friends. It makes only a small profit in terms of the money, but I don't have to buy eggs, and we all enjoy watching the antics of the ladies hanging about the yard.

Sonja ♥

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