Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet the ladies...

...and I'm not talking about the girls next door. I'm talking about 3 hens: Feisty, Ruby, and Lucky. The newest additions to the family~ Feisty and Ruby are a couple of Rhode Island Reds, a popular American breed around 6lbs and avid layer of brown eggs. Then there's Lucky.. an odd duck indeed, she's an Aracauna that lays a lightly green tinged egg. Lucky thinks she's a duck with her honking cry or other times a goose with her cackling call. I named her Lucky because she was lucky I picked her looking like a rag of hay from being bullied from her last flock. Unfortunately with Feisty on top of the pecking order, and Lucky on the bottom, she still gets a little flack. The ladies free range on the side of my house from sun up to sun down pecking at bugs and keeping the weeds away. I have been trying to ensure that their new coop, free ranging, and diet meets their needs, even adding some yogurt, vinegar, oyster shell, and olive oil to their organic feed when necessary. When it comes to a permaculture garden the addition of chickens completes the circle. They eat the outer leaves from my garden veggies which makes them happy and healthy. They lay eggs in return and then poop nitrogen rich waste which is great for making compost and amending soil. Also since I vermicompost, the worms reproduce happily in healthy compost and the ladies can occasionally have protein rich worm snacks. Keeping chickens is a rewarding and entertaining!

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