## Sunday, May 20, 2012

### Chicken Math

So first of all let me say I've never been great at math, adequate, but not great. OK so now that we have that out in the open, I will begin to tell you my understanding of “chicken math”. It goes something like this: You tell your husband you want to have 10 chickens but then you can't decide on what breeds you want and you order 14 different breeds, just because what four could you say no to? Then because it is a long wait for the 14 to arrive you buy two from the local feed store just to keep the anticipation at bay.
A couple weeks later a friend of your husband's is moving and needs to find a home for his two old "pet" chickens. Well, of course they can live with you. On your next trip to the feed store you see they have Guinea Hens and another breed of chicken you aren't currently waiting for so you purchase three Guinea Hens and one little chicken. Let me just say, "Thank you Lord, there were only three Guinea Hens at the feed store that day!"
Jump ahead one year. Two of your hens die, one in surgery and the other one of old age. Yes, one of the "pet" chickens. But now you have a loyal following of egg purchasers and you know that in the next six months you will need to have more hens laying eggs. Due to this you need to add to your flock now because the little ladies don't actually lay eggs until they are about 6 months old. Down to the local feed store you go to purchase 6 more pullets but then you start thinking about the color of eggs and you decide that having 5 more green egg layers would be good but that will offset the browns so you need to add at least 3 more brown egg layers. While purchasing the chicks you notice the feed store has a breed you don't currently own so you think 2 of those would be a good idea. Six becomes ten and you happily head for home.
Meanwhile your beautiful little Silver Duckwing Bantam hen decides to be broody but her own eggs are not fertile and it is impossible not to give her two other eggs. It doesn't matter that they are from full sized chickens. She loves them the moment she nestles them under her. A week later The Crazy Chicken Lady who you love and adore gets her long awaited incubator for her birthday and of course why have an incubator if you are not planning on incubating any eggs? So she puts 23 eggs in the incubator, to increase the odds of course, as not all of them will be viable and of those, that are viable, some will be cockerels and they will have to go live somewhere else. So of the 23 eggs now cooking away The Crazy Chicken Lady finds 12 that are viable and progressing wonderfully. Also, The Crazy Chicken Lady has longed (and I do mean looooooonged) for a trio of Seramas. So she orders them from back east and they arrive, safe and sound. So now 10 becomes more than you want to count (ok ~ 33) and you have to build a new chicken house. Chicken math, see it is easier than it looks.

I learned everything I know about "Chicken Math" from The Crazy Chicken Lady and Crosswinds Farm http://crosswindsfarm.blogspot.com/