Be smart, try laying hens!
Did you ever consider the possibility of acquiring some laying hens? Maybe yes, maybe not. Maybe it seems to you a crazy idea but however, this idea is worthwhile. And there are more benefits than drawbacks, believe me. A hen is more profitable than a cat or a dog for example because until the evidence of the contrary, dogs and cats don’t lay eggs but hens yes. Here are some reasons to convince you!
You just need some square meters, a little green space around your home, enclosed preferably and a little henhouse for the night that you can buy or realize yourself if you are the king of DIY. So it is mainly possible for people who live in the countryside. It is true that it requires some expenses at the beginning but it is still worth it. After a certain time, it will become profitable.
First of all, with all the scandals that occur these last years in the agro-food industry, it seems that the confidence we can have in this industry has declined dramatically these last times. The last scandal has precisely affected the eggs industry with the fipronil eggs contamination disclosed in August last year and that has affected all Europe. The results have been millions of hens slaughtered and billions of eggs destroyed. At least, when you have your own laying hens, you know how you feed and treat them.
Of course, it takes a little time to care about hens, to feed them and to collect eggs every day, but mainly to clean the henhouse every week. But it can be quite relaxing to care about hens after a hard day of work or school and the interesting fact is that all the family, from the youngest to the older can be involved to realize this small tasks because hens are not dangerous animals.
Eggs dispenser at home
One of the most pleasant thing with the fact of having laying hens at home is that you always have something to eat!!! Even if your fridge is completely empty, you don’t have to go shopping each time you run out of food. You just have to put on your boots and go collect your well-deserved fresh eggs. Furthermore, these eggs are “free”, you don’t have to pay for it, it is just the yield of your past work. It is the same when you wake up on Sunday and you fancy eating a good English breakfast. You always have fresh eggs at your disposal. Just don’t forget the bacon!
It is delicious and healthy of course
This reason is also important. The eggs are much more delicious and tasty with these little hens that walk all the day long in your garden under the shining sun. The egg yolk becomes bright orange as you have never seen before, full of proteins.
Just a quick reminder, eggs are indeed very good suppliers of nutrients, they contain proteins, iron, zinc, choline, and it only cost you around 80 calories. On average an egg contains 6 grams of proteins, so 2 eggs bring you as many proteins as 100 grams of meat or fish. Furthermore, it has been proved these last years than the consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on the cholesterol level as it was said before.
How to feed your hens?
A hen is omnivorous, so you can give them a very diversified food. Furthermore, it is said that the more diversified the food, the more the laying will be abundant. You have to feed the hens with seeds that you easily find in a pet shop.
And you can give them oyster shells to make the eggshell stronger and you can also find that quite easily in the same shop. But if you want an economical way of doing, you can give them broken eggshells but pay attention that they don’t take their own eggs for their food just after.
Finally, the very good thing about having laying hens is that you can discard all your compostable organic waste to them. A hen can indeed eat 150kg of vegetable food per year, which is quite impressive, no? Therefore, you can give them all kinds of vegetables and fruit skins, cheese rinds or dry bread. They love it and are very happy, it is like a wonderful ice cream or a cheesecake for us. So there is an ecological and an economic side. You don’t have to buy waste bags for the organic waste and your organic waste disappear as if by magic.
Finally, once your hens are not enough productive, generally after 2-3 years of laying, it is time to buy new ones and get rid of the old ones. I advise you to prepare a vol-au-vent with them because nothing is more delicious than a self-made vol-au-vent with a product of very high quality. However, if you are an emotional person, it is sometimes difficult to say goodbye to your hens and you can keep them and feed them until they expire from old age or killed by a fox or an ermine.
Or you are smarter and you want to continue the life cycle of your hens. You just have to buy a rooster and let things happen. Normally, you can have chicks quite easily and with a little bit of luck, you will have more hens than roosters. You won’t have to buy new hens in this manner. But be careful, a rooster is generally less kind than hens and if it thinks you are a treat for his harem, he will attack you.
Predators are the most obvious reason to have a small shelter for your hens, especially during the night so that they can have some rest without being afraid of the predators. But sometimes it is not enough and foxes or ermines don’t need a lot of time to make their dirty work. These ones are just bastards, sons of a bitch! But to reassure you, it only happens once to me in 7 years of time.
It is always a pleasure to receive quality eggs, so don’t hesitate to make people happy and give them this precious gift, they will appreciate that. You can give it to your neighbors or your family for a provided service or just because you like them. Maybe you will sometimes receive small tips from your happy customers.
It is maybe not well-known by people but hens can be very friendly and once they are familiar with you, they love cuddles and hugs and you can easily take them in your arms. For example, I have a hen that follows me everywhere in the garden each time I go outside, really like a dog.
So, just one piece of advice: Keep calm, buy hens and eat eggs! ;-)