Guest Post: Dan

I Hate Chicken

After spending 20 years in the Navy and learning to absolutely hate chicken here I am getting ready to venture into the chicken and egg business.

The Navy cooks were notorious for deep frying chicken before it was totally defrosted.  What resulted was a nice looking piece of chicken on the outside, but a raw piece of chicken the closer you got to the bone.  Now you can understand why I grew to detest chicken. Eggs I had no problem with.  There is nothing better than scrambled eggs with ketchup on top or sunny side up with a piece of toast.

So why am I venturing into the chicken and egg business?  Have you been to the grocery store lately?  Our family believes it is only going to get worse.  For the past 10 years our national debt has slowly crept to unsustainable levels, the first 6 years by a Republican control of House and Senate and the past 4 years it has sky rocketed under a Democratic House and Senate.  Remember it is the House and Senate who control the money, not the President, though both parties try to make their President happy and enact his agenda.  So I blame all the fools for getting us into this mess.  Well enough about politics, since this is, after all, an article about getting started on raising chickens.

I hate to pay for information when I can find it for free on the internet.  I have found you can get just about any answer to any questions one may have by using Google or other search engines.  I quickly got frustrated though.  I would find a good site with a lot of good information and it would be lacking answers to questions I might have like:

How long does a chicken live?  (as long as you want it to or 20 years of less)
How long does a hen lay eggs?  (5-8 years depending on a lot of different things )
When does a hen become a meat source?  (When it makes you mad enough times, same as for a rooster.)
How many eggs can you expect?  (1 or none as in none being an egg you can’t use)
How far off the floor should the nesting boxes be?  (No one has ever consulted the hens but there are many different answers)

I could go on and on with questions I had to Google answers for.  So I guess I need to invest in a book like “Chicken Raising for Dummies” or something.

Our goal is to start with 4 hens and a rooster.  We don’t necessarily want a bunch of laying hens to start with since a dozen eggs last us 2-3 weeks.  There are only 3 adults here and breakfast isn’t usually something we do.  When we do a traditional breakfast with eggs it’s usually at supper.  I know, we are weird but we are also ones to have adult suppers (banana split or something else you would never recommend of provide for your children.)

The future coop

After we get used to caring for that many critters we may increase our chickens to whatever will fit into 8 nesting boxes.  I’ve read you can figure 4 birds per nest but we would never crowd them in like a sailors into a berthing compartment.  We want them to be comfortable and quite happy.  (I’m sure my wife will name every bird we have and want to paint their names on each nesting box)

We’ve decided to use one end of our 14 x 16 wooden shed for the coop.  We are also going to make their playpen off the end roughly 14 X 16.  So this article series will about our efforts and failures into the world of chicken owners.  If only I could convince the wife to let our parrot live outside with them all I’d be a happy camper.
Dan Shaw, as you can guess is retired Navy and a webmaster, and soon to be chicken farmer.  Please excuse my writing if anything appears to be politically incorrect concerning chickens.

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3 Responses to Guest Post: Dan

  1. Glory Lennon says:

    Dan, What a hoot! I’m looking forward to this. I’ve been trying to convince my own husband to do this. Your success or failure may be what does my dream in…no pressure! 😉

    • Dan says:

      Well tell your husband I know how he feels. I’ll also let you know that adding all these hens will not make me feel any more hen pecked than I already am. With 2 women in the house as well as a female dog, cat and parrot I have grown immune to it. Let them peck away, I’ll just smile and say “yes dear” like always.

  2. Trish says:

    May I recommend bantams. If you are not large egg eaters, it takes 2 eggs to make one regular chicken egg and they are 1/4 the size. My math says more bang for your buck as they eat a lot less. I am addicted to them! And if your wife is likely gonna squawk about eating the old birds and turn them into pets instead, bantams lay very well, make less of an impact on the lawn and make excellent bug catchers in the yard as well as being very ornamental. They consider Japanese beetles desert. Crickets and grasshoppers are special treats. They also can fly a bit more than reguar chickens and will eat bugs in trees as well. I have a Japanese rooster who catches the admiration of all his hens AND all my friends. They are endearing little creatures and make excellent mothers as well.

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