Yesterday, I was interviewed by our local newspaper about keeping chickens. This has inspired me to write a post about our chickens:
As of right now, we have ten chickens in total. We had one more pass away due to unknown causes. It was our White Sultan. I talked about her in my “Day Old Chick” post.
At this point all of our girls are laying eggs and we get between six and ten eggs daily. The eggs are a variety of colors, sizes, and surprisingly shapes!
In the next picture you can see one of our two Fayoumis. She is the one with the white head. Fayoumis were bred for hot areas, but both girls survived the winter happily. They are the most wild of our flock and really like a large area to investigate and forage. They are very skittish and stand-offish, but they are fun to watch. They lay small white eggs which are rather round.
Our Dominque is the in picture below. She is very small and docile. She is a heritage breed. This means she has been around for a long time, and was used for meat and eggs. The feathers were also used for stuffing. She provides us with brown eggs which seem to be longer and narrower than most of the other eggs.
We also have either three Jersey Giants (who turned out to be runts) or 3 Black Australorps. I believe the company we bought these birds from sent us the wrong bird twice. These birds are incredibly small for what I have read Jersey Giants to be. Any which way, they are good layers and friendly. They are very curious and not afraid of much. They are always looking for a snack and seem to be the top hens in our coop. They lay brown eggs.
Our Silver-Laced Wyandotte is lovingly named “Psycho”. She was quite nutty as a young chick, but has mellowed in her older age. This bread is also heritage. By keeping these heritage breeds, we help to keep diversity in our livestock. Even though I don’t breed them, keeping them results in a demand, which breeders will fill. If we only used prolific layers or bird that were good for meat, we would be down to two breeds: Leghorns for laying and Cornish Crosses for meat. This is one of the reasons I like to keep a wide array of chickens on our patch.
I enjoy all of the breeds we have, When we add more to our flock we will be adding Easter Eggers for the cool blue eggs (which they lay frequently) and their fun personalities. I will also be adding more heritage breed birds, although I’m not sure which ones.
Lessons learned: I will never by the ornamental chickens. They end up getting picked on by the other birds and it seems their life is not as happy as it could be. I also don’t think we will be getting any more Fayoumis. While I am enjoying them while they are here, their egg production is minimal and they are not as fun as our other four breeds.