I knew next to nothing about chickens when we got them almost two years ago. They laid eggs, and that’s all I needed to know to get on board. I started Google-searching everything: What do you feed baby chicks? Where do you keep them when they are little? When can they go outside to the “big coop?”
Now as I have my feet wet in the whole raising chickens thing–my husband calls me “Chicky Mom”– I feel like I have become somewhat of an expert. Or at least a knowledgeable enough chicken keeper that friends come to with poultry questions! I was honored when a friend in Nebraska called me to get advice and just chat about her new venture with three adult chickens, and sent me pictures of her adorable coop with her new beauties. I was honored once again when another friend in Pennsylvania called when she discovered that her duck, Howie, had laid an egg. This conversation also provided some humor, as she wanted to see about making it turn into a baby.
Throughout our venture I have been asked several questions and have also found myself giving Chicken 101 when no one was asking…oops. It’s just so fun to talk about!
Here are the most common things that people have asked me or want to know:
- So you have a rooster then to get eggs? No….no rooster required.
- Aren’t you eating baby chickens? No…since we don’t have a rooster, our eggs are not fertilized.
- Oh do the chickens stop laying in winter because it’s cold? No, actually chickens stop or slow down laying because of the decreased daylight hours.
- Why are your eggs different colors? The color of the egg is determined by the breed of the chicken.
- How do the eggs become babies? They only become babies if there is a rooster to fertilize the eggs, then the eggs must be incubated by either the hen laying on them, or in an incubator.
- How many eggs do chickens lay? An egg-laying cycle is approximately 24 hours, so about 1 egg per day per chicken!
- What do chickens eat? Well…almost anything. But really, egg layers need a highly nutritious feed and calcium to keep those eggshells strong! They also benefit from fresh vegetables and grass.
I just love educating people about chicken-keeping and I am excited to learn more in this venture, too.