When do chickens start laying eggs

When Do Chickens Start Laying Eggs?

If you are thinking about getting chickens, or have some growing up currently; you may be wondering when they will start laying eggs. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the breed of chicken, the age of the chicken, time of year and the environment in which the chicken is raised.

In general, most chickens start laying eggs at around 18 weeks of age. However, some breeds of chickens, such as Leghorns, may start laying eggs as early as 16 weeks of age. Other breeds, such as German Bielefelder, may not start laying eggs until they are 20 weeks old or older.

The age at which a chicken starts laying eggs is also affected by the environment in which the chicken is raised. Chickens that are raised in a warm, sunny environment will typically start laying eggs sooner than chickens that are raised in a cold, dark environment. This is in part because chickens need at least 14 hours of sunlight to start laying reliably. That triggers a part of their brain to know that it is spring going into summer. The days are longer, they can forage for food longer to keep their protein sources up for solid egg production and they are not expending extra energy trying to keep warm.

If you are eager to get your chickens laying eggs, there are a few things you can do to help them along. First, make sure that you are feeding your chickens a high-quality layer feed. This will provide them with the nutrients they need to produce eggs. Second, make sure that your chickens have plenty of access to fresh water. Third, make sure that your chickens have a comfortable place to lay their eggs. A nesting box with soft bedding will be ideal. If you are past 20 weeks and have not seen eggs yet there is always a chance your ladies are hiding their eggs somewhere in the barnyard. A REAL Easter egg hunt may yield the secret stash of eggs.

With a little patience and care, you will soon be enjoying fresh, delicious eggs from your own backyard chickens. Remember that the ladies will naturally slow down and often times stop laying all together in the late fall and winter because of the cold and lack of daylight hours. Some folks use supplemental lighting to make the ladies lay again. While this does work, it does not give the hens their natural winter break and in the long run it will shorten the life of the hens.

Here are some additional tips to help your chickens start laying eggs sooner:

  • Keep them in a warm, dry environment.
  • Feed them a high-quality layer feed.
  • Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
  • Provide them with a clean, comfortable nesting box. Think cozy, safe vibes for the ladies to be able to relax.
  • Handle them gently and provide a calm safe feeling environment for them. Avoid needless chasing them around or causing them environmental stress.

There is nothing better than discovering a first laid egg from one of your girls, it truly feels like Christmas morning!

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Chicken Egg Colors By Breed

Do you enjoy looking at colorful egg baskets and ever wonder which breeds laid which eggs? We are going to lay it all out here for you in this article!

French Black Copper Marans (or sometimes called marans chickens) lay dark chocolate colored eggs.

  • French Black Copper Marans a rare breed that is gaining popularity, too achieve the desired true dark chocolate eggs it is important to purchase from a smaller breeder who is paying attention to the genetics. Large scale hatchery marans chickens will disappoint on the egg color.
  • Marans chickens have a beautiful dark black plumage with a beetle sheen over top.
  • They are known for laying large, dark chocolate eggs.
  • They are a docile and friendly breed.
  • Gender: they are sold straight run

If you are looking for a laid back and beautiful chicken breed, the French Black Copper Marans is a great option. They are sure to add a touch of elegance to your backyard flock.

Heritage Welsummer lay lighter brown eggs with dark speckles over the top 

  • Appearance: Welsummer chickens have a beautiful plumage that is a mix of brown, red, and black. The hens are typically a darker color than the roosters.
  • Eggs: Welsummer chickens are known for laying large, dark brown eggs. The eggs are so dark that they are sometimes mistaken for being black.
  • Temperament: Welsummer chickens are a docile and friendly breed. They are easy to handle and make great pets.
  • Gender: They are sold straight run

If you are looking for an intelligent and beautiful chicken breed, the Welsummer is a great option. They are sure to add a touch of friendliness to your backyard flock.

German Bielefelder lay large beige with speckles to tan eggs.

  • History: German Bielefelder chickens were first developed in Germany in the 1970s by crossing several different breeds, including the Lakenfelder, the Rhode Island Red, and the Wyandotte.
  • Size: German Bielefelder chickens are a medium-sized breed, with hens weighing between 5 and 6 pounds and roosters weighing between 6 and 7 pounds.
  • Lifespan: German Bielefelder chickens can live for 10-12 years.
  • Temperament: German Bielefelder chickens are known for being docile and friendly. They are easy to handle and make great pets.
  • Appearance: German Bielefelder chickens have a striking appearance, with a mix of black, brown, and white feathers. The hens are typically a lighter color than the roosters.
  • Gender: German Bielefelder can be sexed upon hatch, we offer them as both guaranteed females and guaranteed females

Double Silver Laced Barnevelder lay smaller sized pinkish to tan eggs sometimes with speckles

The Double Silver Laced Barnevelder is a unique breed of chicken that is known for its incredibly beautiful plumage. The hens have a rich, dark black body,  with a double silver lace pattern on their feathers. The roosters are a darker color, with a black body and a silver feathers throughout. Both hens and roosters have striking yellow legs. Our line of them are smaller than the average large fowl, not quite bantams and not quite a standard sized bird.

Double Silver Laced Barnevelders are also known for being good layers. They typically lay 4-5 eggs per week. Given the right conditions they can lay year round.

Double Silver Laced Barnevelders are a docile and friendly breed. They are easy to handle and make great pets.

  • History: Double Silver Laced Barnevelders were first developed in the Netherlands in the 1800s. They were created by crossing several different breeds, including the Java, the Sumatra, and the Cochin.
  • Gender: they are offered straight run

Isbar (some folks have renamed them Silverudd Blues) lay light green eggs sometimes with speckles over the top

Isbar chickens are a unique breed of chicken that is known for laying green eggs. They were developed in Sweden in the 1950s by a Catholic monk named Martin Silverudd. Isbar chickens are a cross between the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, and Cream Legbar breeds.

Isbar chickens are a medium-sized smaller framed bird, with hens weighing between 5 and 6 pounds and roosters weighing between 6 and 7 pounds. They have a wild streak in them and are predator wise while still being curious and friendly.

Isbar chickens are good layers, producing about 200 eggs per year.

  • Plumage: Isbar chickens come in the feather colors blue, black, splash.
  • Gender: offered straight run.

Bantam Cochin lay small cream to pinkish tinted eggs

  • Friendly and docile: Bantam Cochins are known for being very friendly and docile chickens. The small size of them   makes for great pets for children.
  • Easy to care for: Bantam Cochins are relatively easy to care for. They do not require a lot of space and can be kept in a smaller sized area. If space is a hardship for you this could be a good backyard breed.
  • Beautiful: Bantam Cochins are very beautiful chickens. They have a variety of colors and patterns, our 2023 line of cochins and beyond will have a 50/50 chance of being smooth or frizzle feathered which makes them extra cute and comical.
  • Good layers: Bantam Cochins are good layers. They typically lay about 200 eggs per year, their eggs are not the largest but they are plentiful.
  • Fun to watch: Bantam Cochins are fun to watch. They are very active and love to play. They are also very curious and love to explore their surroundings.   
  • Gender: Offered straight run

Moss Eggers lay a whole host of interesting dark greens.

  • Eggs: Moss Eggers are known for laying a variety of colored eggs, including green, light green, and olive, dark green, dark green with a white bloom over top that sometimes can make them look silver and occasionally a bark brown.
  • Temperament: Moss Eggers are a large docile, social, and friendly breed. They are easily trained to handle and make great pets.
  • Gender: offered straight run

Olive Eggers first generation cross lay a reliably olive colored green egg.

  • Plumage: our olive eggers come in blue and black feather colors
  • Gender: offered straight run.

Sage Eggers lay lighter sage colored eggs with speckles over the top

  • History: Sage Eggers were first developed in the United States at Alchemist Farm in 2014.
  • Size: Sage Eggers are a medium-sized breed, with hens weighing between 5 and 6 pounds and roosters weighing between 6 and 7 pounds.
  • Personality: smart, curious, excellent foragers with high predator awareness.
  • Egg Production: They are remarkably prolific at 230+ eggs a year
  • Gender: offered straight run.

Azure Eggers lay light blue to blueish greenish eggs

  • History: Azure Eggers were first developed in the United States at Alchemist Farm in 2016.
  • Size: Azure Eggers are a medium-sized breed, with hens weighing between 5 and 6 pounds and roosters weighing between 6 and 7 pounds.
  • Personality: smart, curious, excellent foragers with high predator awareness and climate resilience
  • Egg Production: They are remarkably prolific at 230+ eggs a year
  • Gender: offered as guaranteed female or male.

Alchemist Blue Chickens lay blueish greenish eggs, sometimes with interesting blue speckles.

  • History: Alchemist Blue Chickens were first developed in the United States at Alchemist Farm in 2019.
  • Size: Azure Eggers are a medium-sized breed, with hens weighing between 5 and 6 pounds and roosters weighing between 6 and 7 pounds.
  • Feathering: These svelt elegant birds come in blue and black feather colors
  • Personality: smart, curious, excellent foragers with high predator awareness and climate resilience.
  • Egg Production: They are remarkably prolific and dutiful layers at 230+ eggs a year. If given the correct circumstances they can lay year round.
  • Gender: offered as guaranteed female or male.
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What is a straight run chicken?

What are Straight Run Chickens?

You will sometimes see this phrase when buying baby chicks online. On our website we have some breeds that are “guaranteed female” and others that are sold straight run. Straight run chickens are a mix of male and female chicks. Each straight run chick has a 50/50 chance of being male or female when you order them. They are not sexed before they are hatched (you cannot tell the gender of an egg) and they are not sexed when they hatch so you do not know which sex you will get when you order them. Straight run chickens are typically less expensive than sexed chicks, but they do come with the “risk” of receiving a rooster.

The Pros and Cons of Straight Run Chickens


  • Straight run chickens are typically less expensive than sexed chicks.
  • You have a 50/50 chance of getting both male and female chicks, which can be helpful if you are planning to raise both for eggs and meat or if you would like a flock protector.
  • If you end up with a sweet rooster they will bring balance to your flock of hens and protect them from predators.
  • You will be actively stopping the killing of unwanted male chicks that large scale hatcheries practice upon hatch.
  • Straight run chickens are often more available than sexed chicks, especially at smaller hatcheries like ours.


  • You do not know which sex you will get when you order straight run chickens, so you may end up with more roosters than you want.
  • Roosters can be noisy and aggressive, the safety of you and your family is always number one. An aggressive rooster should be removed immediately after the first sign of aggression.

How to Choose Straight Run Chickens

If you are considering getting straight run chickens, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Do your research and choose a reputable chicken hatchery.
  • Order your chicks early, especially if you are looking for a specific breed. We often sell out months in advance
  • Be prepared to have both male and female chicks. If you know you would like three hens of a specific straight run chicken breed then go for six chicks to hedge your hen bets.
  • Have a plan for what you will do with the roosters if you do not have enough space for them. Often times local feed stores will take them and resell them to other folks looking for flock protectors.


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Buying Baby Chicks Near Me

Where to Buy Baby Chicks Near You

If you’re looking to buy baby chicks, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you where to buy baby chicks near you, as well as what to look for when choosing a hatchery. We offer pickups of chicks directly from our farm for folks who are local and for folks who live further away, we offer shipping nationwide!

Where to Buy Baby Chicks

There are a few different places where you can buy baby chicks. You can buy them from a local hatchery or national hatchery you trust, a feed store, or even online.

If you’re looking for the best selection of chicks, your best bet is to order chicks online, this way you can secure the breeds you are interested in without having to wait in line at a feed store. Hatcheries typically have a wide variety of breeds to choose from, and they can also give you advice on how to care for your new chicks.

If you don’t have a local hatchery near you, you can also buy chicks from a feed store. Feed stores typically carry a smaller selection of chicks, but they can still be a good option if you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to drive to a hatchery. Do be aware that chicks in the feed store are exposed to many people touching them and there is always the possibility for disease to be transmitted to the chicks if people are touching the chicks who have diseased flocks at home.

Finally, you can also buy chicks online. There are a number of websites that sell baby chicks, and this can be a convenient option if you live in a rural area or don’t have time to go to a hatchery or feed store.

What to Look for When Choosing a Hatchery

When choosing a hatchery, it’s important to do your research and choose one that has a good reputation. Read online reviews and talk to other chicken keepers to get recommendations.

Some things to look for when choosing a hatchery include:

  • A good reputation and good animal husbandry practices. How are they caring for the birds?
  • A wide variety of breeds. We offer 13 unique breeds that lay gorgeous egg colors!
  • A healthy chick guarantee. We guarantee live arrival of all of our baby chicks in the mail 🙂
  • A fast shipping time. We select overnight express delivery through the USPS.
  • A convenient payment method. We accept all credit/debit cards, PayPal, Venmo and checks.

It’s also important to make sure that the hatchery you choose participates in the NPIP program. This will help ensure that the chicks you buy are healthy and free of disease.

How to Care for Baby Chicks

Once you’ve chosen a hatchery and bought your baby chicks, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide a warm, safe place for your chicks to live.
  • Feed them a high-quality chick starter feed. Do your research on if you need medicated or unmedicated feed.
  • Keep them clean and dry.
  • Socialize them with people and other animals.

With proper care, your baby chicks will grow into healthy, happy chickens. And you’ll have the enjoyment of watching them interact with your backyard. Chickens are wonderful pets to help get us outside, they give us a reason to get some exercise, they provide company and they lay us eggs. They are truly the perfect pet!

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How many chicks should a beginner start with?

This is an excellent question! The answer ultimately lies in asking yourself why you are keeping chickens? Is It for pets? Pest control? Egg production?

If the answer is eggs for you and your family then the question of how many chicks to start with lies in how many eggs you would like to be receiving per day when they are old enough to lay.

Baby chicken chicks are sold in two ways, “sexed” and “straight run” the sexed chicks are sold as guaranteed males or females. Straight run chicks do not reveal their gender upon hatch and are sold with a 50/50 chance of being male or female. We offer 13 breeds for sale. These breeds are offered as sexed and the rest such as our moss eggers (who lay dark green eggs) and our marans chicken (who lay dark chocolate eggs) are sold straight run.

Lets say you are a family of 4 looking to receive 8 eggs a day in the long run:

Egg Production:

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that not all chickens will lay eggs every day. Egg production depends on the breed of chicken, the age of the bird, and various other factors like diet and living conditions. In general, you can expect a laying hen to produce about 5-7 eggs per week, or roughly 20-28 eggs per month.

Family Size:

To determine how many eggs you need per day, consider the size of your family and how many eggs each person is likely to consume. If each person in your family eats two eggs per day, then you’ll need a total of 8 eggs per day.

Chick Quantity:

Assuming you’re starting with straight run chicks, it’s important to keep in mind that roughly half of them will be male and will not lay eggs. If you want to end up with 8 laying hens, you’ll need to start with at least 16 chicks to ensure that you have enough females. This way, even if a few of them turn out to be roosters, you’ll still have enough hens to meet your egg production needs.

Plan for the Future:

It’s also important to consider the long-term when starting a flock of chickens. Chickens can live for several years, so it’s important to plan for their care and egg production needs beyond the first year. If you want to ensure a steady supply of eggs, you may want to consider adding new chicks to your flock every year or so to replace aging hens.

Once you get into the groove and practice of keeping chickens, adding some new young layers to your existing flock will feel natural and easy.

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How Do I Care For My Chickens?

This is the most commonly asked question, and a very important one because you want to make sure you are prepared before brining in a new sweet animal into your life!

There are many details within this larger umbrella question. For a deeper dive on how to care for baby chicks you can visit our website section titled “New Chicken Keeper“. For those of you who prefer video classes we offer a Beginning Chicken Keeping Class and for everyone else, here is a general overview to get you thinking in the right direction!

Feeding: Chickens require a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. A diet high in protein is especially important for laying hens, as it helps them produce strong, healthy eggs. Chickens can be fed a commercial feed, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as kitchen cooking scraps and given access to grit for digestion.

Housing: Chickens need a safe and secure place to roost at night and lay their eggs. A chicken coop should provide protection from predators, be well-ventilated, and have ample nesting boxes for egg-laying. It should also be kept clean and free of moisture to prevent disease.

Health: Chickens are susceptible to a range of diseases and parasites, so it is important to keep a close eye on their health. Regularly checking for signs of illness, providing clean water, and keeping the coop clean are all important aspects of maintaining healthy chickens.

General Care: Chickens require regular attention to ensure their overall well-being. This includes monitoring their behavior, providing them with adequate space to move around, and maintaining a regular egg-collecting routine. They invite us to come outside and be with them – daily observation can tell is so much about what is needed for their health and wellbeing.

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Why do chickens stop laying eggs?


Lets do a deeper dive into what is causing your ladies to stop laying eggs.

 Raising chickens for their eggs is a wonderful experience, but it’s not uncommon for chicken owners to encounter the puzzling problem of their hens suddenly stopping laying eggs. This can be a confusing and stressful situation for any chicken keeper, but it’s important to understand that there are several common reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. By identifying and addressing the underlying cause, it’s often possible to restore egg production and get your chickens back on track.

Here are some of the most common reasons why chickens stop laying eggs:

  1. Age: Just like humans, chickens’ reproductive systems slow down as they age. Most chickens will start laying eggs at around 5-6 months of age and will continue laying for several years. However, as they get older, their egg production will naturally decline, and eventually stop altogether.
  2. Molting: Chickens go through a natural process of shedding and regrowing their feathers once or twice a year, which is known as molting. During this time, chickens often stop laying eggs, as their bodies are focusing on growing new feathers rather than producing eggs.
  3. Stress: Chickens are sensitive animals that can be easily stressed by changes to their environment or routine. Stressors such as extreme temperatures, overcrowding, or changes in diet can cause a chicken to stop laying eggs. We recommend using our chick/hen probiotic/vitamin powder added into their water during times of stress. 
  4. Illness or disease: Certain illnesses or diseases can affect a chicken’s ability to lay eggs. For example, infectious bronchitis is a common respiratory illness that can cause a drop in egg production.
  5. Lack of light: Chickens need a certain amount of light each day to stimulate egg production. If they are kept in an area with insufficient light, such as during the winter months, they may stop laying eggs.
  6. Poor nutrition: A balanced diet is crucial for a chicken’s health and ability to lay eggs. If they are not receiving the right nutrients, such as enough protein or calcium, they may stop laying eggs. Hens need at least 16% protein in their feed while chicks need 20%.

If you notice that your chickens have stopped laying eggs, it’s important to identify and address the underlying cause as soon as possible. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Check your chickens’ age: If your chickens are older, it’s natural for their egg production to decline. You may want to consider adding younger chickens to your flock to maintain a steady egg supply.
  • Evaluate your chickens’ diet: Make sure your chickens are getting a balanced diet that includes sufficient protein and calcium. You may also want to consider providing additional sources of calcium, such as oyster shells.
  • Provide sufficient light: If your chickens are not getting enough light, consider providing supplemental lighting to stimulate egg production. Chickens do have a natural slow down in production in the winter. Ask yourself if you can allow them to have that natural slow down of if you need production to be high to feed your family.
  • Monitor your chickens’ health: Keep a close eye on your chickens for signs of illness or disease, and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.
  • Address environmental stressors: Make sure your chickens are not overcrowded, and provide adequate ventilation in the coop and temperature control. Are the ladies too hot in summer? Too cold in winter? Spend time with your flock and get a sense of their comfort by observing them.
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History of The Welsummer Chicken

The History of This Beautiful Breed Is Interesting

The Welsummer chicken is a breed of domestic fowl that originated in the Netherlands. The breed was developed in the village of Welsum, located in the province of Gelderland, in the early 20th century. The breed was created by crossing several other breeds of chickens, including the Partridge Leghorn and the Plymouth Rock, with the goal of creating a bird that was hardy, good layers, and had a distinctive appearance.

The Welsummer was first introduced to England in the 1920s, where it was embraced for its attractive appearance and excellent egg-laying ability. The breed quickly gained popularity among poultry fanciers, and it was soon being exported to other countries, including the United States.

In the United States, the Welsummer remained a relatively unknown breed until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a growing interest in heritage poultry breeds led to a resurgence of popularity for the breed. Today, the Welsummer is widely recognized as an excellent layer of medium to large brown eggs, in our case we are selecting for heavy speckling on our eggs. Our line of heritage welsummers originated from an old school breeder in Appalachia and we are continuing on his work of selecting for speckling and robust health!

This is one very understated but amazing breed not to be missed in your flock 🙂


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Ordering baby chicks online and receiving them in the mail

Ordering baby chicks online is a fun and exciting process but you have to do some homework, especially if you have only purchased from a local feed store. 

Here are some tips to help ensure a safe and successful online order of baby chicks:

  1. Research the hatchery: Before ordering from a hatchery, do some research to make sure that they have a good reputation and have a track record of successfully shipping healthy chicks. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from other chicken keepers in your area. Hint. Hint. We are a pretty amazing hatchery! 🙂
  2. Check shipping dates: Make sure that the shipping dates work with your schedule and the climate in your area. You don’t want the chicks to arrive during extremely hot or cold weather. We make sure to only ship chicks if your night time temperatures are at least 40 degrees to ensue safe passage of the chicks from us to you.
  3. Know what you’re ordering: Be sure to read the descriptions carefully to ensure that you’re getting the breed, sex, and number of chicks that you want. Make sure to educate yourself on the different between “guaranteed female chicks” (females) and “straight run” (50/50 chance of being male or female).
  4. Shipping and delivery: The hatchery will package and ship the chicks to you via USPS or another carrier. When the chicks arrive, go to your post office to pick them up. We put your phone number on top of the shipping box so they can give you a ring when they arrive. 🙂

When you have the mail order chicks in your possession:

  1. Inspect the chicks upon arrival: When the chicks arrive, carefully inspect them for any signs of illness or injury. Make sure that they are active, alert, and have access to food and water. We have an excellent section on our website for first time chicken keepers here!
  2. Provide proper care: Once the chicks are settled in their brooder, provide them with proper care and attention to help ensure that they grow up healthy and strong. Be sure to follow all instructions in our first time chicken keeper section of the website about caring for your baby chicks, and be prepared to adjust your plans and care based on the needs of your chicks. It is best to order them when you know you will be home and available to care for them.

Not sure what breeds to order?

You can check out our:

Breeds for egg color (especially our Black Copper Marans chickens for their dark chocolate eggs!)

Breeds for beauty (our barnevelders are gorgeous)

Still having a hard time choosing? Let us choose for you with our Surprise box of chicks.

Happy chick raising!

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Benefits Of Keeping Backyard Chickens

There are many benefits to keeping backyard chickens

  1. Fresh eggs: One of the primary benefits of keeping backyard chickens is having a constant supply of fresh eggs. Eggs from backyard chickens are often considered to be of higher quality and have a richer taste than store-bought eggs.
  2. Sustainable food source: Raising your own chickens can be a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to obtain your own food. Backyard chickens require less land, water, and feed than traditional livestock, making them a more efficient source of protein.
  3. Pest control: Chickens are natural pest controllers and can help to keep your garden free of bugs and insects. They can also help control weeds and other unwanted vegetation.
  4. Fertilizer: Backyard chickens produce nutrient-rich fertilizer in the form of their droppings. This can be used to fertilize your garden and improve the soil quality.
  5. Educational opportunities: Keeping backyard chickens can be a great learning experience for children and adults alike. It can teach responsibility, animal husbandry, and the importance of sustainable food production.
  6. Companionship: Chickens can be friendly and sociable animals, and keeping them as pets can provide a source of companionship and entertainment.

There are so many more! Chickens are the most generous of animals, they give and ask very little in return. Some folks say dogs are a mans best friend but we argue that it is in fact chickens that can be! 🙂

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