We have chickens for 3 purposes: (1) eggs, (2) meat and (3) fertilize.

Layer Breeds
We rotate our layer breeds between Australorps (black), New Hampshire Reds,  Barred Rocks (blank and white), and/or Buff Orpingtons (golden color).

Environment
In the spring, summer and fall, our chickens are on pasture.  Their day usually starts very early in the morning.  They spend the day foraging for food, eating grass and any bugs that they can find.  In order to produce eggs, the chickens also need to have a feed (see below) that provides their nutritional needs.  In the winter, they are brought back to our house so that they can stay in an insulated, unheated chicken coop.  Their feed is supplemented with greens (lettuce, kale, etc), tomatoes, grapes, blueberries, etc. that I am able to obtain from a local grocery store.  Weather permitting, the chickens go outside in a fenced area.

Feed
We mix our feed using several grains (cracked corn, wheat, oats, barley and cracked field peas) vs a commercial mash or pellet feed.  We do not use soy beans.  They also have free-choice of oyster shells (for calcium) and grit (to aid digestion).

Eggs
Each day, eggs are collected.  The eggs are then inspected and cleaned by hand with a vinegar/water solution.