Chickens are great, and one of the obvious first steps to self sufficiency, nothing like as much work as other animals, and they give you eggs! Well ours haven't at first, we had hoped buying POL (point of lay) chickens in September might result in eggs through the winter.. and after 3 months - the buff leghorn did start laying lovely white eggs.
Chickens tend to lay less or not at all in wintertime, (unless you give them extra light) but this can sometimes be overcome by getting POL ready at the begining of Autumn.
My family always had hens, and as a child I always liked the idea of having different breeds that lay difference coloured eggs, and so have indulged myself and started off with 4 breeds. We have two copper headed marans, a cream legbar and a buff leghorn. There is still no guarrantee that we will get the coloured eggs we hope for , which would be dark brown, blue and white. So far, we have had white eggs, from just one of our girls.
why keep chickens?
- it is part of trying to be self sufficient
- chicken welfare - even 'free range' hens are likely not to be as free range as ours
- to know what went into those eggs.. because you control what you feed the hens
- because they are just enjoyable
- less food miles
- eggs as fresh as laid that day