Chickens can significantly enhance food production efforts. A hen may lay several eggs each week throughout the year when properly managed. Chickens can find their own food, eating bugs, vegetation and even small creatures such as mice.
Adequate housing for chickens is important. They must be securely locked up at night to prevent predation by owls, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and oppossums.
I plan to keep a flock of chickens at the Grouse Creek property. In preparation for moving to Utah, I have been selecting and breeding chickens that have the least visible coloration to minimize predation by hawks, eagles, and coyotes. The following pictures show some of the chickens that we keep.
The chickens shown at the right are the Ameraucana variety. The have distinctive ear muffs and lay pastel blue-green eggs. The coloring of these hens may be less obvious to predators than, for example, White Leghorns or Buff Orpingtons.
|This is an Ameraucana rooster. Male chickens are typically more colorful than females.|
|This hen is half Ameraucana. The other half is probably a Production Red variety. I have several of these hens because of a unique characteristic. They are sex linked to their color. I learned from observation that black chicks from these parents are always females. With other colors, there are usually half females and half males. However, in my experience, the black chicks are all females.|
|This is an Ameraucana hen. Unfortunately, she moved her head while the photo was being taken and her head is blurred. If she were a rooster, she would look like the rooster above. I like this color combination.|
|This is a Marans rooster. This rooster and a black Marans hen were given to us by friends. The unique feature of these chickens is that the shell color of their eggs is a rich chocolate brown. |