This is hands down the most frequently asked question about my back yard chickens is: Do you need a rooster to get eggs? My answer:No, YOU DON’T NEED A ROOSTER TO HAVE CHICKENS THAT LAY EGGS! Don’t feel bad, this city girl didn’t know that either, until I looked into it a little more. Yes, hens will lay unfertilized eggs for you to eat with no need of a man around, a feathered man that is. Over the years this has been the top question I have received along with some very puzzled looks, followed by a jaw dropping ohhhh, as the synapses in their brains connect. I like to tell people to think of us girls; we ovulate every month but we are not always going to have a baby. We would need a man around for that. What is that curious clicking and whispering sound? That is the sound of my teenage boys blocking me on facebook and praying that I have NO friends in common with their’s. I don’t get the chance to make them squirm too often so excuse me while I savor the moment…… O.k. moment over.
Since I am helping/following along with my good girl friend, who is getting chicks for the first time, I get to share all the her stumbling blocks/successes with you. The thing about having chickens for a few years is that you forget all those first time new chick mama worries. See how to get started raising chicks here.
Getting the temperature right can be a bit of a challenge. The LAST thing you want is to have your chicks well done when you get home from work. While I nailed together a few boards I had laying around for my brooder, my friend utilized a long/large plastic storage bin for her brooder. The point is to have a space those little girls can use to get out from under the heat lamp if they need to. Her storage bin is working out great!
Wood chips can sometimes get in the water and food so putting both up on bricks is a good idea. An alternative to wood shavings for the brooder floor would be hay. It is just a bit harder to get a medium amount of hay as it most often comes in bales. I know the Roach Feed and Seed in Garland sells it in garbage bags full, so that would be fine.
O.K. now I have to take some time to vent about the feeders they sell when you get your chicks. The bottom or top however you look at it, screws on, kind of. When I say, kind of this is what I mean; you know when you put a top on a jar or something and it doesn’t screw on quite right. We have all been there, try as you might the lid just will not line up to make a secure seal. Well the chick feeder is something like this. The result of this ill fitting feeder tray is that when you turn the whole thing over after filling it all the way up, the top pops off and you have pile of chicken food where you wanted a neatly contained chick feeding station. When it happened to me I thought it was user error or perhaps a one of a kind deformity. It seems that I am not alone in my maddening chicken feed dumping, especially when you are in a hurry, experience. My friend and I decided it is probably the same company that makes these ill fitting feeder trays, that also makes chicken feed, therefore resulting in an increase in sales, as quite a lot of the feed is wasted when the lid pops off. It is all a chicken profit conspiracy!
My friend’s husband, who is a bit of a MacGyver, came up with a clever solution. He cut out a portion of the top so that one can fill it up from the top therefore by passing the “tricky chicken profit conspiracy designed lid.” I know, why don’t I think of these things!
I am going on a long walk-about with my husband this weekend, backpacking for the first time! When I get back I will share with you the devious coop plan my neighbor came up with to avoid attention of the neighborhood HOA. Brilliant, if I do say so myself. Have a great week end! The city of Allen is reviewing it’s law on backyard chickens this Spring. Keep your fingers crossed that they change the law so that residents in Allen can have a few hens and fresh eggs.