My hens made the move to pasture last week. They have had a few chilly nights recently but seem to be very happy out there. Or maybe that’s just me! Aesthetically, I love seeing the chickens scratching and walking around against the green grass and blue sky. And objectively I know they are converting the green grass into a healthier egg which is full of omega 3’s, beta-carotene, vitamins A and E. There is already a noticeable change in the color and texture of the egg yolks. I’m loving my ‘orange’ scrambled eggs!
On the down side I have to remember to close up the coop at night! I forgot last night and was hoping NOT to find owl or coyote eaten birds this morning. We did get lucky- all safe and sound this AM. The other downside is cleaning out the winter coop. A two foot thick layer of bedding and chicken poo was transferred to the compost pile and a portion of the garden last week. I have trained myself not to think of it as chicken poop but as material to grow fantastic sweet corn! With the coop empty of sweet corn growth factor (!), the next project is to get it cleaned up for chicks. I have about 4 weeks before the baby meat birds arrive.
My 14 yr old daughter is raising meat rabbits this year. My DH has constructed 3 beautiful rabbit tractors for her herd (ummm, flock?) of American Chinchilla Rabbits. Right now we are only housing her elderly former 4H project bunnies, but my friend Carolyn Kreinke has graciously mentored my daughter and will sell us 2 young bred does. Erin would like to purchase a Californian or New Zealand buck to begin her own breeding program.