I am now pretty sure it is the Rhode Island Reds who are laying. I found 2 more eggs today, one of which had a soft shell and was not usable, the other of which was a perfect brown little egg that I threw into my zucchini bread (that actually came out more like crumbly coffee cake than bread).
Our new hen is not doing so well. She is getting pecked and is not integrating into the flock very well. She is also not taking to me the way I had hoped even though I try to feed her treats and bribe her/make her like me. Its really sad to see her so scared and skittish compared to the other 4 who are happily moving around as a group, eating grass and foraging, while Rose aimlessly wanders around like she is lost.
I do love having chickens though and kinda wish we had room for more! They are so much fun to watch: its like chicken TV in our backyard! They are getting really tame too and today one of them snuck into the kitchen and flew up on the counter as I was working!
I am wanting to make my own chicken feed now instead of buying the soy-based mix I have been getting from Azure. I think a more natural and varied grain diet would probably be healthier for our girlies. I have researched recipes and found these 2 sites the most useful in deciding what to make: Greener Pastures Farm and Lion’s Grip. I still have to do the math to make sure I am putting together the right protein ratio, but at least I feel like I am halfway there. I have the following items in my Azure cart, which will make 394 lbs of feed for a cost of $294.90 or $.75 per pound.
If a chicken needs to eat 4 lbs of feed to produce one dozen eggs, well, then these will be some damn expensive eggs, but still cheaper than store bought ones.
Thorvin Kelp Gran ASCO Ani/Fert (Blue Label) 55 lbs. $53.90
Montana Milling Millet, Organic 50 lbs. $35.80
Montana Milling Cornmeal, Organic 25 lbs. $14.80
Azure Farm Chicken Wheat, Organic 50 lb $16.35
Sesame Seeds, Brown 50 lbs. $87.30
Wheatgerm, Fresh, Raw 44 lbs. $30.00
Oats, Rolled, Regular 50 lb $25.00
Flax Seeds, Organic 25 lbs. $19.40
Whole Barley, Organic – Animal Feed 45 lbs. $12.35