You must have so many questions. I'll try to answer as many as I can here. You can also hit me up on Instagram @bakingwithchickens.
Can I order baked goods from you?
Currently not taking orders. But I will occasionally make a one off item for something special. Email me, I'll consider it. You CAN order art prints, apparel, and stationary from the BWC Print Shop.
Will you do events? Will you bring Chicken Shit Bingo and your chickens to my event?
Maybe. Depends on the event. Send me an email at bakingwithchickens [at] gmail [dot] com.
Do your chickens actually eat the baked goods in your photos/videos?
Generally, no. They're not interested in the sweet stuff but they're chickens and they're little fiends who do what they want. It's hard to stop them from stealing a bite or two. Sugar isn't good for them and I don't allow them eat very much of it if they do manage a bite. I'll sprinkle chicken snacks (meal worms, cracked corn, sunflower seeds) behind or on top of whatever I'm photographing for them to peck at.
Isn't it unsanitary for chickens to be with food?
YES! Chickens are dirty little creatures who step in their own poo. No chickens are in the kitchen while we're baking and the food photographed is not consumed. After the photoshoot I throw away the food that was used, plates and tabletops are disinfected, and I wash my hands with soap. It breaks my heart to throw away baked goods but I'd rather not risk it. This is for entertainment and amusement only.
Can I use your photos/content on my site?
Yes you may for personal use. Please give credit to Baking With Chickens and link/tag back. For commercial or editorial use, please ask permission and provide more details about how they will be used by emailing bakingwithchickens [at] gmail [dot] com.
Can I buy your chicken aprons/tutus/egg gift bags?
Not currently making or selling these handmade items, but you CAN order art prints, apparel, and stationary from the BWC Print Shop. Would you be interested in buying them?
Do I have to refrigerate fresh eggs?
Fresh chicken butt eggs do not need to be refrigerated. They can stay out on the counter at room temp for approximately 30-60 days.
Do I need to wash eggs?
Chicken butts naturally give the egg a protective coating called a "bloom." If you wash your eggs you wash off the bloom, in which case you should refrigerate them. In the US, grocery store eggs are pasteurized so the protective bloom layer has been washed off.
How do I know if eggs have gone bad?
If you're unsure about the freshness of your eggs do a Float Test. Put an egg in a glass of water. If it drops to the bottom it's fresh and good to eat. If it floats to the top it's bad, discard it. If it's half floating suspended in between, it's not as fresh but still good to eat.
How do you know which chicken laid which egg?
Chicken mom knows.
Why are eggs different colors, I thought there were only white and brown eggs?
Different chicken breeds lay different color eggs. Eggs come in an entire rainbow of colors and sizes! You see mostly white and brown eggs in the grocery store because the breed of chickens that are the most prolific egg layers lay that color. White Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds are the breeds most commonly used for commercial eggs.
Are dark yolk eggs healthier?
Yes and possibly no. Dark egg yolks generally means the chickens have a highly nutritious diet, likely high in protein. Dark orange yolks are made by xanthophylls, omega-3 fatty acids, and meats. Chickens that are fed mostly corn or grain diet may have pale color egg yolks. Contrary to the "Vegetarian-fed" label on your egg carton, chickens are not vegetarians! Chickens are little asshole omnivores who eat everything and anything in sight. They especially love bugs, greens and even small rodents and reptiles if they can catch them.
Research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture has demonstrated that the color of the yolk does not affect the egg's nutritive value.
Personally, I feel that the dark orange egg yolks from my chickens taste better, richer and are likely healthier for me than the average commercial grocery store egg. It tastes better too! The pale egg flavor tastes watered down. My chicken eggs taste rich, flavorful and more egg-y. Recently there's been controversy that some egg producers are adding paprika to the feed to make egg yolks look darker to charge more because people associate dark yolks with better nutrition. Similar to how brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs when in actuality they're both the same.
Is that chicken poop on the egg?
Yes. Poop happens. Eggs and poop come out of the same hole. Wipe it off.
Are you afraid of getting salmonella?
No. I take reasonable precautions to keep clean, wash away any chicken poop and have shoes just for the chicken coop area. I also don't kiss or make out with my chickens.
Is it a lot of work to keep chickens?
Once you have the right setup and everything is in order, chickens are very easy to keep and maintain. It was hard when things went wrong, I didn't know what to do and their lives were at risk. When everything is good they're easier to keep than cats and require little maintenance.
What about cleaning? Do they smell?
Not unless something is wrong or very unclean. They do poop, A LOT. Expect lots of poop. We do the deep litter method so their poop and waste dries out and composts itself. We clean out the entire coop once a year. If you do a sand coop bottom you'll have to clean weekly.
How often do chickens lay eggs?
At their peak age and with optimum conditions, hens lay one egg a day. They are the most productive between 8-months to 4-years-old. After that they will lay less often and eventually stop in their old age. Depending on the season their laying will fluctuate, more eggs in the spring, less in the winter when there are less hours of sunlight.
Do you need a rooster to get eggs?
Nope. Hens lay eggs with or without a rooster. Just like women, they release an ovum and it either gets fertilized during sexy time or there is no sexy time and it doesn't. Without a rooster the eggs are unfertilized and will eventually go rotten if not taken away. With a rooster, the eggs are fertilized and could hatch into baby chicks if a hen sits on the eggs to incubate them.
Where do they lay their eggs?
They have private nesting boxes in their coop where they instinctively go inside to lay an egg. Without access to a nesting box they'll find a private corner somewhere or even under a bush.
What are you going to do with them when they're too old to lay?
Eat them! Just kidding. I thought I could but I can't do it. They've become sweet little pets. As gratitude for giving us a lifetime of eggs they will get to live out their life napping in the sunshine and chasing bugs in the yard. But don't get me wrong, if there was a zombie apocalypse and we were starving I'd eat them.
How long to chickens live?
8-10 years, or longer. They will continue laying well into their golden years. Most commercial laying hens are culled at 18-months to two-years-old.
Where did you get your chickens?
Our chickens are all rescues and adopted. Raspberry and Lady Olgaberry came to us when they were about one and a half years old because their owner was reducing the size of her flock. Butterberry and Fizzleberry joined us when their owners realized that they didn't have the space to care for chickens and their landlord insisted. I would love to get Silkies and other fancy breeds but I want to try to rescue and adopt whenever possible rather than buying. All our animals -- a dog and two cats -- are adopted misfits.
How do you live in Los Angeles and have chickens?
I'm fortunate to have a house with a big yard and distance from my neighbors. Our yard is a long narrow lot so the chickens have their own pied-à-terre in the back garden.
What are the rules for keeping chickens in Los Angeles?
The Los Angeles Chicken Ordinance states that chickens coops must be 25 feet away from owner's dwelling, 35 feet from other residences, sanitation, noise, and zoning restrictions apply. Roosters must be kept 100 feet away. Check your city's local ordinance for info on backyard chicken keeping.