At some point, I'm sure I'll write about something else. But, for now, my chickens absorb quite a bit of my time.
I picked up four eggs today. Since Monday, I've collected 15 eggs, all white. I've found one broken brown egg, but I think Mrs. Bennet and Lydia, the two non-white hens, are low on the pecking order and are feeling a bit stressed about it. I hope they'll lay soon, but they are older hens and might be at the end of their laying time. Still, I'm not willing to slaughter them yet, especially since they are new to me. They might just need a bit more time, and I'm not in any hurry. To me, this is a long-term investment.
And what an investment! I bought a 50-lb bag of feed today, as well as some grit. Together, these cost me about $20, which I don't consider expensive. That's about what I spend on cat food, cat litter, and wild bird food. I've also purchased wood shavings for the coop, but a bag of that isn't expensive either. A bale of wheat straw costs about $4-$5; that's not expensive either. They eat practically any cooked leftovers, which reduces the waste that goes into my garbage. I'll also get some great compost for my gardens. And they are fun to watch and to talk to. They know when they see the "blue bucket" that I'm bringing them some treats. All in all, it's a mutually beneficial relationship. And I love the eggs.
I also enjoy watching my cats as they watch the chickens. It's great "cat TV"!
The hens don't need much prompting going in to the hen house at night, and, as soon as they hear me in the morning, they start making soft clucking noises. I've seen the sunrise every morning since they arrived; I'm usually a late riser. Plus, I've been going to bed earlier and sleeping better. Maybe my circadian rhythms are finally resetting.
I'm excited mostly because this is one more step towards self-sufficiency. Now, if I could just figure out how to get my gardens to grow in 115-degree summers, everything would be great!