Ok, so they're not laying yet, but all going to plan they will be!
Yesterday, bf and I welcomed 2 lovely ladies to our place. Gertrude and Bettina. They are, to be precise, two 12 week old black australorpe hybrid hens.
Given a couple of months, these lovlies should be about ready to start laying, and we will be supplied with fresh, free range, cruelty free eggs. Highly nutritious eggs as they are going to get lots of highly nutritious greens and scraps.
A few ways keeping your own chooks can be part of living a healthy life:
1) Down with egg farms! Buying free range eggs from the shop can be a start, but it can also be a bit of a farce. In Australia the rules which govern who can use the term 'free range' are pretty slack - which means that some companies which claim to be free range in fact consist of a whole lot of hens inside a shed - up to 14 hens per square metre - some of whom never find the small opening that leads to the small patch of grass. (http://www.sustainabletable.org.au/Hungryforinfo/Free-range-egg-and-chicken-guide/tabid/113/Default.aspx) Another step up to ensure animals are living a happy cruelty free life is to have them in the backyard! It's important to keep them fed, watered, sheltered and safe from predators.
2) Reducing waste: Chooks love snacking on fruit and veggie scraps. Instead of putting potato peel, banana skins and outer lettuce leaves in the bin, put them in the chook pen! It keeps the chooks healthy and happy, and means you aren't throwing into landfill more than you need to.
3) Reducing chemicals in the garden: Chook poo is awesome as a fertiliser. You can make it into a liquid fertiliser (http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/03/14/454621_gardening.html) or put it in the compost bin to give the compost a buzz. No need to buy chemical-y fertilisers now!
4) Mental health: People know that cuddling their dog or cat is soothing and can stimulate the release of calming chemicals in the brain. How about cuddling a chook??
Do you have any more ideas about how chooks could be part of a healthy lifestyle?