Hayden Homesteading: Adventures began with chickens
Steamboat Springs — Our homesteading adventures here in Hayden started with chickens. We had planted a few vegetable gardens in the past, but we had always lusted after some laying hens. If you’ve never had an egg that you fried up fresh out of the nesting box, you’ve never had a real egg. We had some friends in Denver who had some chickens, and it was always a thrill when they brought over a carton or two of their fresh eggs.
The question was where to start. We are both over-thinkers, so there was no chance we would just buy some chicks and wing it. We started by reading posts about brooders, feed, space requirements and more on backyardchickens.com. Only after weeks of study and lots of hemming and hawing, did we finally buck up and head to Elk River Pet and Ranch to pick out our flock.
When we got there, we realized that in all of our research, we failed to look into breeds. As a result, we just went ahead with what they had in stock. We came home with three Rhode Island Reds, and one Ameraucana. Once we had them under our roof and had a chance to read up on them, we discovered that both breeds are known for being great layers and good for eating, too. Also important in our climate, they are known for being cold-hardy.
We were excited to discover that in addition to the three brown eggs that the Reds would lay each day, we would have one blueish-green egg laid by the Ameraucana. Of course, despite having picked up the chicks 2 months ago, we still have quite a while until we can reap the benefits.
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