Our current flock of laying hens hatched November 14th, 2012. They are a cross between White Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. We raise chickens in order to learn and then create teaching material that will encourage families in developing communities to cultivate backyard flocks that will provide them with inexpensive protein and supplemental income. This has been a delightful experience and we are learning much more then expected! I have been greatly helped by a couple of books and backyardchickens.com in gathering information- especially the interesting topic of how to create feed for our chickens. Before this adventure I had no idea that black soldier flies existed and now we are collecting them and other types of maggots. Now there is a great dinner topic for your next party:) We are also growing scads of pumpkins, aquaponics is growing azola and we seeded 3 different grain plots all as an effort to feed as self suffiently as possible. Due to the nature of our property and the abundance of mongoose the chickens are unable to free range, but they do have a large outside area to explore during the day. We now understand the affection so many back yard farmers feel for thier chickens- they really give a lot in return for a little shelter and care. Bug control, kitchen scrap removal, child entertainment, soil enrichment and tilling and of course the incredable, edible egg! Their eggs are sold within the YWAM community and the money is used to finance thier feed and the purchase of small farm tools.