Happy Chicken-Versary

I love this chicken with an attitude! 
Time flies when you are having fun, and I guess we have been having more than our fair share because time is going by at warp speed. It seems like just yesterday my husband and I brought home our lovely little flock of chickens, and now they have been here an entire year! It's our Chicken anniversary and we couldn't be happier together! 

It's been quite a learning experience for us. From bringing our bright eyed pullets home, to getting our first eggs, to adding chickens to the flock, and then losing some chickens in the flock, and now being steady with our happy eight. Yes, it's been a roller coaster this first year. 

Here are some things that we have learned from our first year raising chickens! I hope that you will help us add to the list if you raise chickens, or just enjoy the post if you are thinking of getting your own (which we HIGHLY recommend!)

Chickens are highly adaptable
These ladies know how to bob and weave! They have hung in there with this cold weather beautifully and they were the same way last summer in the heat. We have always been surprised wit their ability to be adaptable, which, I think is what makes them such great farm starter animals.

Chickens are kind of mean
At first when we got them, they seemed so sweet and weak and stuff...but that lasted about a week and then they showed their true colors. Chickens are flock animals, and there is a pecking order. They will be mean to other chickens, but also to other animals. Like my dog, Oscar. They discovered pretty quickly that they could gang up on the dog and boy do they! Mean ladies, I tell ya!

All three of these Amrocks became fox food!
You will lose chickens
At the risk of sounding heartless, you just can't cry over a dead chicken. Sure you love them, but you will also lose them. It happens and it's part of owning your own flock. If you let them out, they might get eaten by a hawk or a fox. If you name one and have a favorite, she'll be the first to get picked off. One might hurt itself beyond repair and you have to call your father-in-law to assist you because it's got to be killed. And then he comes over and chops her head off. You'll lose some, plain and simple. So get over that fast and you'll be fine.

Integrating new chickens just isn't that hard
We got new chickens last summer to add to our existing flock and people were extremely pessimistic about our adding them. It wasn't that hard. Seriously. Sure, it's not a tip-toe through the tulips, but it's completely possible and not the horror that some people make it out to be. Simply put the chickens side by side for a day, then begin by letting them "fight" a little (with your strict supervision) for about 10 minutes twice a day for two days. Then up that to 30 minutes twice a day. Then let them roam the yard together for a day. Then stick those new chickens on the roost at night and VIOLA, you've integrated your flock.

There is nothing better than your own eggs
No better egg exists than the one that comes from your very own chickens. I can't imagine buying my own eggs. I always have eggs when I need them, they are always fresh and they are delicious. I love the fact that a fresh breakfast is always just a few steps away.

Well, that's what we learned so far this first year of owning chickens. What have you learned from your flock?? Leave it for me in the comments section below! 

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