Oreo has definitely outgrown her cardboard computer box/chicken coop. She’s gotten used to her wings and flies out whenever she feels like it now…which is all the time. We had to either drape a towel over the top or accept her following us around the house. An upgrade was overdue, so it was off to Lowe’s for supplies.
There were quite a few design concepts discussed ranging from simple to extravagant. Since I had the cash, simple won out. Oreo is cute and all, but I still want to know what these organic eggs are costing us. The chicken coop supplies were $53 bringing our total up to $83. Of course, she’ll cost us more money in feed; chicks have to eat too. But that should be it. Chickens live off needs not wants – she needs food, water and shelter safe from the racoons. Done!
To this point, we’re at $2.37 a carton. That’s a conservative estimate based on the fact that she’ll produce between 200 and 250 eggs per year for two years. To put it in a different number, I’m hoping for about 35 cartons. And for one last number, $53 really isn’t a whole lot of money to spend for a full family day. A trip to Mote Marine and Selby Gardens would have cost us $51, and Ringling would have cost $60. Yes, Oreo has been a good investment.
Oh, they grow up so fast…Oreo is already starting to fly. I realized it while getting dressed yesterday morning. The usually muffled chirping kept getting louder and louder. When I popped my head into the hallway, there was Oreo waddling my way. It seems she’s already growing and flying out of her Dell box.
It was off to Goodwill today to find suitable chick housing for when we’re out. There was only one cage to choose from, so although she’ll probably outgrow it fairly quickly, for five bucks I was sold.
The only problem with the cage was two holes from where feeder dishes should have been. Two easy exits, but nothing a roll of color duct tape can’t fix.
I lined the floor with comics and added an extra strip of duct tape along the bottom because Oreo deserves nothing less than a designer cage. And although the roll of duct tape cost the same amount as the cage, Oreo has been a bargain up to this point. We’re in for $30 so far:
I’m expecting the bulk of her expense to come in about three months when she’ll be big enough to live outside. Safety will be the priority. Even in urban yards like ours, predators lurk. But by Christmas, Oreo will be paying us back. We’re expecting at least 200 eggs next year!
OMG, I love this chick! She’s soft and fluffy and fuzzy and just plain adorable.
She follows us everywhere. She hops up on our feet and nestles in our hands and clothes. John was sitting on the floor, and she crawled up his shorts. Here she is nesting in his shirt on our walk.
Her half-inch legs tire easy, but Oreo’s fitting in nicely around here.
These lovely ladies in brown were responsible for our delicious breakfast every morning. The darker ones clustered in the center are roosters. I now understand why the Sarasota CLUCK proposed ordinance bans roosters. WTC? This one wouldn’t shut up about the bread crumbs. He was a total loud mouth!
Back to the ladies…this was one morning’s yield. Each hen lays an egg a day.
I got to eat the green eggs!
Shortly after I posted my shout out to the white ibis, I went to a meeting to discuss chickens – no really, I did. I free lance for the local newspaper, and my editor asked me to attend. It’s an issue around here because it’s currently illegal to keep them in your backyard, and for reasons which I was completely oblivious to, people actually want them in their yards. I make special trips to the farmer’s market for fresh produce and to Whole Foods for grass-fed beef, but never thought to keep chickens in my yard. Apparently chickens are another all natural way to control pests and fertilize your lawn. And of course there are the fresh eggs, but here’s something that didn’t come up during the meeting – what kind of cock fight do you have to get into to get those eggs? I don’t care how nice you are to your chickens; they’re not giving up their eggs voluntarily. I’d like to see the ordinance pass so my neighbors can have chickens, but it’s definitely not for me.