## Thursday, April 19, 2012

### Chicken Math

Granted, math has never been my strong point.  I can add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  Basic algebra and geometry are within my grasp, but I really dislike having to use them.  Thank goodness Scott does our bills and builds things for me.

Chicken math is an entirely different thing.  You get your chickens.  You figure out who lays and who doesn't (or who you can slaughter).  You keep half an eye on how much you spend for feed.  You go out and pick fresh greens every day to help your chooks be healthier, and hopefully cut the feed bill a little bit.

You find out that your friends really like your chickens' eggs.  Your friends' friends like them too.  Pretty soon, you can't keep up with the demand.  YOU NEED MORE CHICKENS.

So you do what I did--look for the hardiest, best layers.  You also hope they'll be eye candy because hey, if you're going out to do chores, you want to see pretty!  You find most of the breeds you want.  You get them, then do some legwork and find the rest.  All of a sudden, your flock has grown from 11 to 13 (because you just HAD to have those Yokohama/Phoenixes) to 27 because of your new layer chicks . . .but don't forget the extra meat birds that bring your grand total to 44.  You know that those 17 meat birds are going to be in the freezer in the next few weeks, and it's a good thing since you have 8 more layer chicks coming into the brooder and you need to get the layers into a tractor to make some room.

Let's not forget the breeding projects--Swedish Flowers and Cream Legbars.  They'll each have to have their own pens and I'll have to really keep an eye on bloodlines.  Then I'll have to learn about how to ship eggs in the mail.  GACK.

See, it's chicken math.  It's rather like tomato math--you know that you can never have too many tomatoes.  From the demand, I'm thinking I almost can't have too many chickens.  No, I'm not going to raise them in industrial conditions--they'll either have runs or be in chicken tractors, ranging over the yard and garden.  It's still just flabbergasting how many chickens you can amass and still want MORE.  My only problem now is how to keep them contained and safe from predators.  I really don't relish the idea of going out to find a bloody heap of feathers . . .or 2, or 4 . . .you get the idea.

Some people collect cats.  Some people collect dogs.  While I'm not in favor of animal hoarding, I AM the crazy chicken lady.  If I can get more coops built, I'll get more chickens.  They're pretty, they're funny, and they give me terrific eggs and meat.  (Cat Ladies can't say that!!!)  Try doing some chicken math of your own and let me know how many you end up with!