See, our two chickens used to go through a heck of a lot of feed. Like, I had to refill it every few days. At first, I thought it was because they had just started laying eggs are were ravenous (I don’t know… it made sense to me at the time). But then they kept knocking over their food dish and it would fall into the pine shavings. It has a little loop on top, as it’s designed to hang. I’d also heard that hanging feeders reduce waste (oh, those messy chickens). So, one weekend while we were home I decided to just get in there and hang the darn thing. Since I did that, I maybe fill the feeder once a week. I clean and fill the waterer more than that!
Let me back up.
We have two chickens. The big Buff Orpington faithfully lays one egg every day. The smaller, louder, pushy Easter Egger lays every day but occasionally takes a day off (such a slacker!) You’d think two eggs a day is a lot and we’d be overrun with eggs. Alas, this is not so. On mornings when I make breakfast to eat in the car, it’s usually 2 eggs, fried or scrambled on a tortilla or toast. So, right there we’re eating eggs as fast as our chickies give them to us! But, we don’t eat eggs for breakfast every morning, so sometimes we build up a surplus. I’ve given 4 to 6 eggs away to friends about 3 times and that’s it. I don’t bake with our eggs because baking uses a lot of eggs! That, and our eggs aren’t quite as large as regular large eggs (2 oz. average) so I’m always worried it’ll mess something up.
Eggs went on super-sale this week, I’m guessing because of Easter and the inevitable egg-dying and/or hiding that goes on. I wanted to make some hard-boiled eggs and try pickling some eggs, so I picked up a flat of 20 since I certainly wasn’t going to experiment with our precious home-grown, not-quite-free-range but definitely not stuck-in-a-cage eggs. And then I hard-boiled 8 of them.
Crazy chicken people on the chicken forums swear that their eggs are, like, 5000% better than store-bought eggs. They swear they taste better and can tell the difference blind-folded and with one arm tied behind their backs. I was just thrilled our eggs have bright orange yolks and are tasty. Not once did I think there was a difference in taste. Until I ate the hard-boiled egg. It just wasn’t the same. Maybe it was because it was a jumbo egg; maybe I didn’t cook it the same (I should have thrown one of our eggs in the pan, too). All I know is that it didn’t taste as, well, tasty as the time I did hard-boil a pretty blue-green egg. We had fried eggs in PA, too, along with Travis’ dad’s tasty, tasty sausage gravy and biscuits and I’m sorry to say the eggs just weren’t as good.
I have become an egg snob.
There is a point to all of this rambling, I swear. The point is that I’d like more eggs. But, I need more chickens to get more eggs. And I’ve been told that there will be no more chickens until our chickens are a year old (because egg production slows down after 1 to 2 years). So, the chickens get to be a year old, I can get 2 more chicks and by the time those new chickens start laying, our girls should just start slowing down.
But! I had a plan! It is prime chicky-getting season (aside from the fact that Easter is coming up and there may be people buying cute chicks for Easter when they aren’t prepared to raise a full-on chicken, to whom I say don’t do it! Go buy a chocolate bunny instead!) and there will be different types of chicks at all the feed stores (as opposed to the slim pickings when chicken shopping in, say, August). I figured, the way our chickens go through feed, we’ll have to stop by the feed store soon to get more food. While we’re there, how can we resist picking up new chicks? And then the hanging feeder foiled my trickery because the feed supply will obviously be lasting for quite a while.
You may be wondering why I don’t just throw the feeder back on the floor so they go through feed more quickly? Well, because my frugal side kicks in and won’t let me knowingly waste all that food when I know it can be prevented.
Perhaps I’ll just have to make the argument that now is the perfect time to have chicken breed choices instead of waiting until August again. If we wait until next spring, the chickens will be 2 years old before new chicks are laying and I’ll probably have to go buy regular eggs or something. Which, if you really think about it, completely goes against any frugal, money saving argument since we all know raising chickens for eggs is not saving me money.
Maybe I’m just addicted to chickens.