We have had several collectives of chooks over the years. The first collective we brought in about a year after moving in. This was for egg production, but also very much just for utilising our growing supply of kitchen waste once we had built our initial soil up. I find chickens a great asset in the backyard garden with eggs being the icing on the cake.
Our soil quality improved immeasurably with the introduction of poultry into our garden and they have been very easy to care for. We encountered the odd outbreak of mites but this resolved itself quite readily and in our local environment and climate there is not too much else that creates a problem. We had a dog get one of our chickens from under the fence once and that’s about it.
Now and then we’ve brought in eggs from other sources to put under a clucky chook and kept the hens whilst removing the roosters once they revealed themselves. Usually in the early hours of chilly autumn mornings when they would begin to try to crow. Which to me is sometimes even more distressing than belting out a proper crow, especially in suburbia. Usually, we are left to process these roosters who seem to dominate the ratio of male – females in our eggs. Our latest additions all turned out to be hens, so its raised the average this year! Plus we have recently adopted another hen from a friend.