One of our first steps to becoming locavores is to start our very own egg-production facility. The equipment is pretty simple - get some chicks, raise 'em up right, and in exchange for a home, protection and a yard to roam, they produce eggs! I love it!
These little gals are just a couple of days old in this photo - they've already been at home for a week now. The two in the front are Ameraucanas, which will produce blue/green eggs and the two in the back are Sicilian Buttercups, which produce white eggs. Not in the picture are the two new Wyandottes, which are great egg-layers. Right now they are cute little fuzzballs whizzing around the cage!
The cats are not sure about our new acquisitions. Jilly has been in my lap despite 100° heat, and until yesterday Cassie wouldn't come in further than the food dish. She managed to make it to the bed last night without first hissing at the chicks. Meanwhile, Jilly goes en garde when we take the babies into the garden, making her an excellent chicken nanny.
Our laying flock will begin to produce eggs in the fall. Due to our temperate region, chickens tend to continue with egg-laying through most of the winter, though at a reduced rate. We're now contemplating a second flock of broilers for meat production, though we're not sure about the economics of it, or who will actually kill the chickens. I'm ok with butchering and eating, being quite secure in my place on the foodchain as an omnivore, but the killing part... We'll have to figure that one out. I might personally have to become very hungry before I get comfortable with that step.