So in these first few blogs, I will try to give an overview of what I’m currently doing with homesteading in our tiny appartment. This one will be about how I got our three Orpington chickens.
We have had our chickens since this autumn, and one of the reasons I finally started with my idea of writing this blog, is that last week they finally started laying eggs, yeey! My husband and I decided to get chickens a year ago, but were afraid to take the first step for a while. Mostly because both of use had never had chickens before, and we were uncertain of so many things. I was so afraid that I might kill them, because I didn’t know enough, that I researched every possible thing about chickens. Overkill much? My husband is easier that way, lukily, and basically just started building the coop, and found a reasonable priced secondhand henhouse. Eventhough we have a small garden, we had room for the chickens because our apperment was build to have an balcony. But because we are on the ground floor, we also have a garden and there is some space between the balcony and the ground which we weren’t using anyway. So we fenced off the space under the balcony plus the side of our garden and had a rather easy made chicken coop. Then we had to decide what kind of chickens we wanted.
I did some research on chickenbreeds and basically coudn’t decide (again with the research, but I’m am rather safe then sorry). The only thing I knew was that I wanted bantam chickens because of the small space we had, and that I mainly wanted them for the eggs. So I wrote down a list of breeds that filled those needs, and started looking what was available within a reasonable driving distance. I found out that you can basically get any type of rooster for free, but that hens are rather difficult to find. We weren’t allowed to have a rooster on our premises, because of city regulations, so this narrowed my search even further to somebody who only sold hens, without a rooster. After a while we found all this, the only problem: the hens were already 1,5 years old. Not insurmountable old, but it would mean reduced egg production. We decided we would buy them anyway, because we were trying this for the first time anyway, and maybe hens that were a bit more sturdy and expierienced woudn’t immidiatly die if we did something wrong. And so, these are our three Orpington hens:
As you can more or less see, one is completly black, one is brown with black rims, and one is dirty white. I took this photo a couple of days after we got them, while they were enjoying the sun (they also just started shedding)
And then we had chickens, right before winter, stressed from moving to a diffent place… You see were I’m getting with this? It took a looooong while before we got eggs, half a year to be more precise. However mainly because I didn’t give them the right thing to eat. Also, because it was right before winter, a week after we got them they started shedding. This is a normal process for chickens, I know now, but at that moment I was so worried they were sick. Yes, I stressed out a lot about my chickens, but I want te treat them right. And after a while I became more confident. And now, when I have finally convinced them to lay eggs, I feel more confident, and know they are happy chickens. I really like having chickens, even if I get stressed over them sometimes. And after having just eated my first “homegrown” egg, I am very proud of them.
Later on I will post more photos of them, and describe their breed, and the individual personalities.
That it for now, hope you enjoyed reading about my venture of getting chickens.