1.12.2010

Chaffy Love of Mine

Some friends of our inspired us to have chickens, and when my sister-in-law and brother offered us their flock (of 7) we took them up on it. Then it turned out 2 of the pullets weren't really pullets but were roosters {Good bye Little Jerry and Big Red}. We have neighbors with something in their behind noise sensitivity, so off they went to a new home, and the 5 hen flock happily remains.


Although backyard chickens are becoming more and more common, we still get a lot of sideways glances from people when they hear we have chickens. Nope, you don't need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. Yes, you do need a rooster for the eggs to be fertilized. No, the coop doesn't stink. So far {knock on wood} we haven't had problems with any predators, but we do have areas that offer cover for the girls, and our big, silly dogs live the next "coop" over {aka the front yard}.
Why did we want chickens? Because they're silly fun, provide a nearly-hypnotizing source of entertainment, and are pretty likable. They provide great manure for the garden, keep the bugs in check, and can till up an area of ground quicker than you can tell a fowl joke. Most importantly, for minimal investment they give us back the most delicious eggs ever.
We give them dinner scraps {vegetarian dinner scraps}, a little bit of scratch, a feeder full of chicken food, fresh water, and safety. They give us fairly inexpensive joy. But when I read about using coffee chaff {a free resource if you have a roaster nearby} as bedding, it took no time to get in touch with Dilworth Coffee and get some of said chaff.
My first visit there and I found a long lost friend who works at the roastery and picked up two 50 gallon bags of chaff. The chaff will last a week or so, and one 50 gallon bag is big enough to hold all of our household trash for the week {which equals one less bag in the landfill for the roastery, one smaller bag less in the landfill from our house, and also one less plastic bag from the pine bedding}. Plus, no trees were chopped down for bedding, and we'll save about $6 every time we don't have to buy pine bedding.
So far so good, but I'll keep you up to date on how it works out in the long run. I have high hopes for this new found chaffy love of mine.

4 comments:

Jeana Marie said...

Aussies love their chooks - pretty common here, nobody I've come across seems to look oddly on keeping chickens anyway; one day when we aren't renting...

Anonymous said...

Ah, you have chickens! So do we. Our girls LOVE grapes and they will take them from our fingers - give it a try - you'll be delighted.

And please do post about the coffee chaff. We currently use bales of straw and would LOVE to replace it as it's difficult to deal with when cleaning out the coop.

Claudia

Meagan @ecoMILF said...

i want to see pictures of the feathery cuties! xo m.

Tom and Lyanda said...

Glad our chicken chaff revolution is making the rounds. We're still pretty happy with it a few weeks and a few chaff-changes later. We've also mixed it into our garden beds to add some organic matter that will break down by spring.