Penny Pinching Peach


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Chickens on the Cheap, Part 1

Chickies!

Chickens on the cheep, cheep, cheep! Raising chickens on a budget on your back yard homestead!

This post is from a couple of Easters ago. I don’t advocate chicks as gift “just for Easter”, but this worked out perfectly for us because we did want the feathered friends as egg laying adults. šŸ™‚

We got five fluffy baby pullet chicks this spring!

Our daughter was thrilled, I was excited to have chickens for the first time in years and years, and my husband was fascinated by the whole process of raising a farm type critter. This was a new adventure for our little family!

Alot of folks get those cute Easter chicks without a clue or thought of what to do with them.

I got my hens as chicks so they would be friendly backyard pets. I chose the breeds for the dual purpose of being pets and good egg layers. We got three Barred Rock hens because they are both calm and very productive layers. We got two Aracauna hens because they lay Easter egg colored eggs and are moderately high producers.

We had a chicken house that we found on an online yardsale set up in our back yard before we brought them home, although they had to stay in a big box under a heat lamp inside for a few weeks. We had fencing materials and a plan for making a ramp down from the coop into the little pen, which my hubby did for me when the chicks were big enough to need the space. If you want chickens yourself, do your research, make your plans for their long term care and prepare yourself before you bring them home!

Feeding chickens could add up to a huge expenseĀ if you don’t do it correctly!

For us, we spend about $12 on a bag of feed for our hens and it lasts about six weeks for our five chickens now that they’re full sized “teenagers”. However, the reason it lasts is because I save scraps for them every day, and have our 3 year old give them their scraps before I pour their feed in. We save things like the chopped up odds & ends from fruits and veggies, stale bread, crushed cereal leftovers, leftover plain pasta pieces, and anything else chickie friendly to chop up for them to gobble up. We also have a compost pile my husband and daughter sometimes dig up worms from to feed to them, and the two of them like to turn over large rocks and boards to collect grubs and worms to feed the feathered fowl as treats. These “extras” not only save us money on their feed bill, but it keeps them much healthier.

Chicks and Princess Peach

Chickies and Chica

Another thing I am doing for the chickens is saving up eggshells, letting them air dry, and crushing them into powder. I let my little girl crush them in a plastic bag with a cup as much as she wants, then I grind them the rest of the way into powder. I’ll be adding this to my hen feed as soon as they start laying eggs, as it is a cheap way to help them get their calcium. They’re due to start laying…well….any time in the next month or so, really. šŸ™‚

A misconception alot of folks have that surprises me every time is that you need a rooster so the hens can lay eggs. You don’t. You only need a rooster if you want the eggs to be fertilized so you can hatch your own chicks. A rooster in the back yard would be loud and obnoxious. Hens are pretty quiet, just clucking most of the time with an occasional cackle, and are actually less likely to disturb anyone than having a cat. My mom got our first hens while we were living in a subdivision, and all three of the neighbors connected to our back yard loved them!

You don’t need alot of time, space or money to keep a few laying hens.

Teenaged chickies getting scraps.

“Teenaged” chickies getting scraps.

Just do your homework and prepare yourself before you bring them home, and you’ll do just fine. They’re cute, fun, teach kiddos responsibility, and the fresh home laid eggs are absolutely amazing and healthy. I loved raising chickens when I was growing up, and am thrilled to be able to share that with my munchkins now.

Is anyone else doing some backyard (or full scale) homesteading? You might be interested in my creative hanging planters!

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Bunny Trouble

One of my kids' favorite Easter books!With Easter fast approaching, IĀ wanted to share with y’all aboutĀ one of my children’s favorite Easter bunny books.

My childrenĀ loveĀ this bookĀ so much, I’m not allowed to put it up the rest of the year. It’s frequently requested, regardless of the season.

ā€œPenny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.comā€

Bunny TroubleĀ is the story of a unique bunny who was part of the Easter bunny’s colony. This little bunny’s love of soccer caused him to get into all sorts of trouble, but in the end, he learned to work better with others toward common goals and they learned to embrace those who may be just a wee bit differently. With adorable photos and an attention grabbing story line, this is a great story to celebrate the fun of the season, teamwork and appreciating what makes each of us just a little bit special.

To get your own copy, you can click the titleĀ  in blue and go to Amazon to order it new or used. I’m sure your children will enjoy this lively story as much as my little ones do. šŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite Easter book? Try making our adorable Easter bunny cake!

Ā