If the food supplies  were to dry up/stop how would you survive?

How much food do you have in reserve? Is it enough? Look as a bit of advice , if you have any sort of garden (and even if you don’t) get yourself a couple of chickens…they will supply you with an egg a day (mostly)  for each hen you have. Certainly in the first 2 -3 years they will anyway and then production drops away a bit.

What you have to remember is that an egg a day is enough to keep you alive, and they will produce them from what they can scratch up and your food waste (if you have any). There are plenty on the market and they are not expensive to buy, typically here they are about £10-15 each and that is an investment that you will not regret if food becomes difficult to source. Chickens need a minimum of care and space (look at battery hens) however the more you give to them the happier they will be and will thank you for it with good health and a long life of laying eggs for your consumption.

We recently sourced a couple of point of lay pullets from a local breeder, that have settled in nicely and are laying more eggs than we can use already (though one is at present still practicing,LOL!).

Points to look for in a Point of lay Pullet (POL) are; first and foremost does it look like a healthy bird curious and active ?, any sign of  hunching, listlessness or watery beaks and sneezing means you should look elsewhere. Also check out where they live , is it clean and a good environment for them?, if the seller is unwilling to let you ‘see for yourself’ the conditions  then go elsewhere!. Lastly the points to look for in the bird itself are; The comb and wattles of a POL bird should have just started to colour up to a nice red, eyes should be bright and not at all sunken (this last tends to suggest the bird is either older than a typical POL or an ill bird) Legs should have a waxy appearance and not be horny, holding the bird and turning it upside down ( it will not harm it) check the vent, the place the eggs come from ( the backside if you will) it should look moist and relaxed, not dry and tight.

Given all appears well in the above checklist then go ahead and buy the birds, 2 is a minimum really as they do like their own company and establish a pecking order very quickly, 3 is a better number but you will require extra space , food etc. Try and get a weeks supply of the food they are on from the seller, you may not be able to source the same and they may be set back by having to adjust to both a new home and new food, having said this chickens will eat almost anything!! If you get some food from the seller , then buy a sack of layers pellets and mix them together each day lessening the sellers food each day till they are on the stuff you have bought entirely (about 2 weeks).

 Get them worming treatment if they haven’t been done already and find them somewhere safe to scratch about and roost inside at night, a coop can easily be made by most handy type people and a nestbox attatched will become a source of fun and food. I still get a small feeling of pride/satisfaction at picking up a warm egg from the box and always have (I’ve kept chooks before).

Plenty of sources of plans for coops on the internet and also suppliers of POL birds, do go and see them, and pick them yourself, Mail order is NOT the way to buy!

Good Luck and happy omletting!

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