Something about moving to Texas, just outside a big city, that makes me think I can be a homesteader. I've seen quite a few episodes of Martha Stewart growing up and she did it with such grace. Simple, right? She had a vegetable garden, chickens, and the ability to create. I was only a teenager at the time, so I always thought those colorful fresh eggs she had on the counter came from an Easter eggs coloring kit, or she soaked them in beet juice and boiled kale water. I always knew that some chickens laid white eggs and some laid brown eggs. However, dark speckled brown, sage, and every shade of blue?! Martha, you had me fooled. It was like a natural work of art.
One of my first discoveries after moving to our new home was that my backyard neighbor sold farm fresh eggs. Thanks to an encounter with one of their goats, Jim Jim, we saw the sign with their number advertising these eggs. Our family eats quite a bit of eggs so we were going through them by the dozen. Yes, the age old debate of the egg being good or bad for you. In this home we believe, if it comes from a well raised and fed chicken, it's good for you!
As we quickly became friends with our farmer neighbors, I began to learn so much about what it takes to raise chickens. I only feel capable of starting with a fraction of the 80 she currently raises. So my journey begins. First step was to convince my husband. That turned out a lot easier than I imagined. Just wait till I tell him I want a Jersey cow!
I started to shop for chicken coops. I knew I wanted to start with eight chickens, however, most of the coops I found were small, even if suitable for eight ladies. I wanted my hens to be comfortable and live the highbrow life. So I dug a bit deeper and found the perfect farmhouse style coop. It was spacious and had a great chicken run. It was delivered, set up, and ready for tenants.
I opted to only raise hens, no rooster. My brother in law was convinced that a rooster was required for a hen to lay eggs, however, with much research I found that was not the case. We have a chicken farm in the next city over that raises beautiful baby chicks and guarantees them to all be hens. I set on my morning journey and brought eight fluffy babies home.
Floxie, Hen-Rietta, Toni, and Feckles are Golden Laced Red Wyandottes that lay brown eggs. Then we have Gracie, ChicPea, Amelia, and Loopy who are Blue Legbars that lay blue eggs. Their coop is cleaned weekly and fed treats all the lime. As I walk to their coop, I greet them "Hello Ladies!". They come running out of the coop to see me. I have such a feeling of accomplishment seeing how happy they are.
They have now grown up so we added additional space to the chicken run. They have toys that keep them entertained and an endless supply of water. I was very shocked to see how much water they drink daily.
On 2/22/22, we received our first two eggs. There was screaming and jumping as I brought them into the house. There may have even been a mini photoshoot. I worked so hard to make sure these ladies were well cared for and now they make me breakfast daily.
I am in love with this new journey and the new desire to add to our farm family. My advice is to start slow with each new adventure, master it, then add on only what does not overwhelm you.