I am still a novice to keeping chickens but I had no idea how rewarding it can be. My impulsion to get chickens was after watching a programme about the barbaric treatment of farm animals. The country was Australia but I imagine some of our farming methods are not too dissimilar.
I wanted to do my part and save two chickens from the prospect of being caged and forced to lay. Confined in tiny spaces , no room to move, feel the sun on their feathers or scratch at the earth .
I bought two young hens at the point of lay. A Colombian Black Tail and a Red Star from a local breeder. He advised me about the temperament of the hens and which were easier for beginners.
It would not be a good idea to have a solitary chicken as they are sociable animals. Mine are like two sisters. They follow each other everywhere. At night when I lift the coop roof they are hundled together snug and warm.
It’s strange you get to know the sound your chicken makes. If I am digging and turning soil they run over to eat the worms. They make sweet , excited little trumpet noises . They sound content and happy.
I handle my chickens regularly. They are friendly birds and quite often fall asleep whilst you cuddle them. I was delighted that one of the hens began laying in the first week of being with us.
It is true that eggs taste delicious from your own free range hens. My red star lays ginormous eggs with double yolks. These are so nice at breakfast.
I am still learning about my hens but it appears I am doing something right. In this stressful and busy environment we live in having animals and growing food reconnects us with nature . I think an element of self sufficiency is good for us,the environment , our community and local wildlife.