Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's all about the eggs

Yes it is all about the eggs, isn't it? Why else do we keep chickens. Since moving to our little place, we've had a hen or two on hand. The first was a throw-away Easter chicken that a friend of ours rescued in town and thought would live quite nicely out at our place. We had no chicken accommodations in the early days, so we put her out in the front pasture with our only other piece of livestock, a miniature Mediterranean donkey. Well "Daisy" the hen got pretty attached to "Holly" the donkey and soon started following her around everywhere. It was kinda cute. We put out a doghouse for her and that was where she slept. Then one day ... it happened ... screams from the front pasture and a small child running back to the house with a beautiful green egg in her hand. We were hooked and have been purchasing chicks at the feed store every year to keep ourselves in chickens.

I don't keep track anymore, but I think we have around 15 or so. They lay more than enough eggs for our use, so I usually try to sell the extra dozens for $3 or so. As you can see, some are Araucanas and lay the Easter colored eggs, but for the most part, the others that are laying the best right now are traditional breeds ... sexlinks, banties, and last year's buff orpingtons.

We allow the hens to hatch out eggs, or they do so on their own because we just don't know about it. The chicks that survived the natural course of events this year have all turned out to be roosters it would appear, so several of the following guys are going to have to go.

And another reason to keep poultry, the crowing. During the times we haven't had a rooster on the premises, we actually got to missing that sound and had to track one down to purchase. And by the way, it's only a bedtime story fallacy that roosters crow in the morning. First-hand evidence at our place indicates that roosters crow plentifully during all waking, and at times, non-waking hours.

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