We did it! We made it through six months of urban chicken farming! The girls turned six months old last week, and Monday marks their sixth month with us in Redwood City.
Now, if I could just remember where the time went... it seems like only yesterday I started this blog by warning we had peeps incoming (Apr 26), then posting the news of our jumping into chicken farming with both feet by bringing two barred rock chicks home to live in a temporary brooder made out of a 10-gallon aquarium in our home. (Apr 30)
Within a week, our chicks were named (May 5) by our oldest daughter, and we've called them Sophia and ZsuZsu ever since. Then, we watched these little fluffballs grow bigger and bigger by the day (and tried to share it in our Flickr set as much as possible) and soon they'd outgrown the aquarium and we had to move them into a wire cage as we waited for our Eglu (May 26) to arrive.
Six weeks into our chicken farming experience, the Eglu arrived (Jun 5) and the girls started sleeping outdoors and enjoying being the outside birds they've become. The folks over at Omlet, the maker of the Eglu, seemed to enjoy following our story, and we've had a nice link to this blog on their site ever since.
Thanks to the wisdom of the chicken farmer crowd, I've gotten great advice on issues ranging from "how do I tell if I've got a cockerel?" to "what to feed the chooks at time-of-lay" to "when's our first egg coming?"
Finally, a little magic hit the hen house right about the time Nora at Spark interviewed us about chicken farming with our Eglu on the debut of the Spark radio show.We hadn't had eggs at the time of the interview, but the Saturday the episode aired, Sophia laid her first egg! Of course, this meant a follow up on the third episode of Spark, and added enough pressure on ZsuZsu that she finally had her first egg less than two weeks later. Since then, we've had double egg days more often than not, and we haven't gone a day without fresh eggs in the nest for over six weeks now.
So, what's it like at the six month mark? Still delightful to look out in the backyard and see the girls pacing their run first thing in the morning. Tranquil to come home after work, grab a drink and go out back to watch the girls free range in the backyard eating bugs and weeds. And scrumptious to have fresh eggs to eat every day of the week.
What do I look forward to in the next six months? Seeing how the chickens do over the (mild) winter here in the Bay Area and whether they stop laying at all in the cooler months ahead. Using the chicken-dropping rich compost in our garden next Spring. Resisting the urge to add yet another chicken to the flock when I hear the peeps of chicks at the feed store.
Stay tuned to read along. It's been great having you here so far!