Monday, June 9, 2008
Feeding the "Girls"
Pictured at the right are a couple of the "girls". For quite a while we've worked out what we thought was a pretty good deal with them. They give us eggs in exchange for feed, water and a little house lined with hay. However, recently, the increased cost of their feed had caused me to wonder who was actually getting the better deal. We'd always kept them in a large enclosed coop because we worried Alice, our barking guardian, would try to eat them - like she used to do with the rabbits. However, a couple months ago one of the children left the coop door open, by accident. The girls saw their chance at new adventure and boy oh boy did they take it! After a bit of sniffing and a few minutes of chasing, Alice decided a few yard companions would suit her. Now, every morning we let them out into the yard. Since they now have lots of grass (yes, chickens eat grass), and more of a variety of bugs to scratch up, their feed consumption has been reduced by about half. Since they were raised in the hen house and coop they automatically go back into the hen house to lay eggs. In the evening I carry a bucket of kitchen scraps out to the coop and call them in for the night - they all come running. With more room to roam and a larger variety of bugs, the girls are definitely happier. With the feed bill reduced, I am again confident that we've struck a pretty good bargain with them.