Our five chickens arrived a couple of months ago, and what a joy they have been. They are such curious little things. They love following the dogs around, and investigating visitors, mirrors, or anything new in their environment. When I put speakers in the garden, they belt over as the music starts, and stand as close as they can get. They especially like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Buffalo Springfield and even Lee Perry but are less fond of metal or shouty rappers, so Spotify's suggestions sometimes makes them jump.
I had concerns that the dogs or the foxes would snatch them, but so far, they have been okay. Amazingly, the dogs have understood that even if the chickens wander right onto the front door matt, they are not to be bothered, so the dogs sometimes bark the squeeky bark of outrage, but there is no aggression or licking of chops.
The chickens have a fenced run that they fly in and out of, and a little house to keep them safe at night. Sophia the black chicken, can sometimes be a bit of a bully to the little grey Gucci, but provided scraps are well dispersed, it's not a problem. Not only do they provide a load of delicious eggs every morning, but they keep slugs and snails out of the vegetable patch and off the flowers. And they also eat all the scraps.
The chickens are not a massive saving, as the outlay costs are going to keep them in debt to us for a while, but it's more than worth it. Not only do friends love the eggs, but everyone seems to just love coming to have a cup of tea and hanging out near them, which is just so lovely.
They are like an agricultural fish bowl. It's so peaceful yet funny watching them wander about exploring and chasing the dogs. There is something very comical about them.
Chicken keeping really is very easy. They need cleaning out weekly, and disinfecting of all surfaces, but it doesn't take long and the benefits of eggs are enormous. Here is some organic egg info that may surprise you...
1. Eggs are great for the eyes due to lutein content, reducing chance of cataracts and macular degeneration in studies.
2. An egg contains 6 grams protein and all 9 amino acids. Organic eggs are substantially better for you than factory eggs.
3. Research has proved that moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative effect on cholesterol as previously thought. 2 eggs a day are shown to improve a persons lipid profile.
4. Eggs are one of the few foods containing Vitamin D.
5. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who ate 6 eggs a week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 44%
6. Eggs promote healthy skin hair and nails due to a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Many people find eggs make their hair grow faster.
Now... what about bee keeping...