I thought we were about due for a chicken post. Haven't done one of those in a while.
I noticed something interesting today. I was looking at the eggs in our refrigerator and while I can't tell the Rhode Island Reds' eggs apart I can very definitely tell which ones Grace, the Buff Cochin has laid. Her eggs have a shell that is a lighter color and rougher texture than the other eggs and they are bigger and pointier. The Red lay an egg that is a rosy brown color and smooth and almost shiny.
Well I was counting the eggs in the fridge and we have 20 of them. And 8 of them were laid by Grace. We pretty much eat the older eggs first so you can figure we are eating them in the order they were laid. Which means Grace is laying at twice the pace of her red headed sisters. Eight of her eggs and twelve divided up between the other three chickens.
We are thinking that we will get two more chicks next Spring. Not sure what type yet. I kind of want Ameraucanas so we have blue/green eggs but I don't know much about their temperment.
We have settled into a routine with them. We let them out of their run just about every day (weather permitting) for a few hours. We can't leave them out unsupervised for too long because we have had coyotes and the occassional stray dog come on the property. So we only let them out when we can keep an eye on them.
Doing the weekly coop chores takes less than half an hour. We clean out the dirty wood shavings from their coop and rake out the run. Wash and refill their waterer (more often in hot weather) and refill the feeder. About every six months we do a deep scrub down with bleachy water.
Along with their laying crumble and whatever bugs and greenery they forage on their own, Rick gives them a treat of fresh fruit or veggies every morning - zucchini, tomatoes, kale, oranges (which we stopped because we heard too much citric acid isn't good for shell production), apples - whatever we have on hand.
They sure have been a lot of fun and I've never once felt like they were too much work. They are just so fun to watch and they are so personable and friendly.