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Easter Egg Chicken Ranch

I enjoy raising chickens simply to have them around. I also dislike buying factory eggs from grocery stores where Free Range means something quite different from how my chickens live and natural is anything but.

I could cut my costs significantly with standard commercial feed, but pay 80% more for organic. It all comes back into our diet. Standard GMO is not food. I do my best to avoid it. A rounding-off guestimate I made the other day has us paying $4/dozen for our fresh, non-GMO, organic, free range, colorful, numbered eggs. Infrastructure and labor must stay out of the calculus or it gets wonky in a hurry.

Lamentably my life experiences did not include the mentality or skill set for turning my chicken ranching into meat. I probably should call my chicken project the Easter Egg Ranch, as the chickens are really not the product. Either way, part of the fun for me (us) is having the variety of hens producing a rainbow of eggs.

Chickens lay prolifically in the spring and early summer. Commercial guys simply store them until the lean winter months. Your store-bought eggs can be 6 months old. This year we are geared up for long-term storage of our own eggs in buckets of lime water… supposed to work better than commercial refrigeration. I’ll let you know.

You might notice that I number my eggs. That’s the date collected. Our rotation has us eating two or three day old eggs. The entire process spoils us. Yes, there are taste, texture and visual differences in the food product we gather here.

My local feed store shares a lot more about chicken ranching.

9 Reasons to Raise Chickens

Perhaps you’ve already made the exciting decision to raise your very own backyard chickens. Or, perhaps you are the neighbor of a friendly flock owner and are curious about what’s going on across the property lines. Or, perhaps you are considering chickens because you need a new hobby.

The truth is, everyone has their reasons for tending to a flock of chickens, but there may be a few reasons that surprise you. Here’s where most Murdoch’s customers fall:

#1 Fresh Eggs

Did you know that the eggs you purchase in the grocery store could be up to two months old? Yes, you heard that right. If the thought unsettles you, raising chickens can provide you with fresh eggs daily.

#2 Nutrition

Eggs from backyard flocks have been found to be more nutritious than those purchased in the grocery store. In fact, here is what studies say:

  • 7 times more vitamin A and Beta Carotene which is good for your eyesight.
  • 2 times the amount of vitamin E which is good for your hair, skin, and cholesterol levels.
  • 292 mg of Omega 3 fatty acid are found in a backyard egg versus 0.33 mg found in a store-bought egg.
  • Lower levels of saturated fat are found in home grown eggs.

#3 Cruelty Free Chickens

You know firsthand how your chickens are being raised and treated.

#4 Education

Did you know that chickens can recognize up to one hundred different faces? It’s true. They also love to play; they dream, they mourn, and they love. And chickens will teach the whole family to appreciate where your food comes from. It’s quite the learning experience, and you don’t have to walk them daily.

#5 Fertilizer

If you are a gardener, prepare for the ultimate in fertilization. With its high nutrient levels, chicken manure is ideal in your garden or mixed into your compost.

#6 Pest Control

Chickens love to snack on bugs and even small rodents.

#7 Less Food Waste

Cut down on your contribution to the landfill by feeding your leftover food scraps to your girls. If you go this route, there are some guidelines to follow. Chickens cannot eat all types of food scraps. Grains and veggies are generally safe.

Don’t Feed Chickens:

  • Anything super salty
  • Processed foods
  • Raw potato peels, which can be toxic
  • Garlic, onion and other strong-tasting foods, which won’t hurt, but will give your eggs an interesting taste
  • Avocado pits and skins, which are also toxic
  • Coffee or coffee grinds
  • Chocolate, which can be toxic
  • Greasy foods
  • Anything spoiled or rotten
  • Raw meat, which can lead to cannibalism
  • Greasy foods

#8 Weed Control

Weeds like dandelions, clover, and lambsquarter are both nutritious and delicious for your flock.

#9 Sheer Entertainment

Chickens are funny, and each has a personality of its own. You will love watching them day in and day out.


Organic Chicken Feed Ain’t No Fad


It’s All About the Coop: My Experience with Backyard Chickens


Add Light to Your Chicken Coop This Fall