July 1, 2011 by currbell

We’ve taken the plunge! Our neighbor wanted to give the girls some chick for Easter, but said he would raise them for us until we were ready. I’ve been very surprised at how little work they have required. And the “work” is more like a fun little break from my day. I love how scrapes of food that would be composted or wasted are going to good use now. This picture pretty much perfectly defines the girl’s positions on the chickens. One thinks they are amazing and can’t wait to get a hold of them (and all animals- I pray no animals hurt her till her gets a little older, because she just be devastated) and the other thinks they are amazing, as long as they are behind the chicken wire. Our garden was kindly fenced in by one of the elders at church (he had asked me how the garden was and I told him the rabbits were getting into it, so he just came by and fenced it in), so the chickens will soon be able to roam free. I’m curious to see how that goes over with the girls. We have one rooster, pictured above. I’m not sure what breed he is, so if you know please pipe up! The best guess I’ve gotten so far is a Dominique mix, but he’s smaller than the other two Dominiques, and he has lovely leg feathers, as you can see if this pic.There is a female of the same breed, and she is my favorite, sweet, sassy and submissive. She’s the only one with a name so far: Henny Penny. I’m afraid to name too many of them, because things happen, and besides that I don’t like the idea of eating things with names, though I will probably get over it eventually. It is strange to look them in the eye and realize just how disconnect I’ve been from my food most of my life. I’ve spent the last year trying to acclimate myself to the idea that I WILL kill and roast my own chickens one day. I’ll just put on my big girl panties and do it. But thankfully that day isn’t today.
We also have two Dominique and two Rhode Island Reds. They are really sweet and friendly. If I had known how easy they would be (as long as The Pestilence doesn’t get them) I would have gotten some a long time ago. Both the Dominique and the Rhode Island Reds and a dual purpose breed, good for both eggs and meat. So hopefully we can start a nice rotation of laying hens and meat hens. I may have to add a Silkie or two to the mix, because they are good “broody” mothers and I just think they are so stink’n cute.Just a little factoid for those of you who might wonder why in the world you would want to raise your own chickens, “Hens that roam freely outdoors lay eggs with twice as much vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids as hens raised in cages. Their eggs also have a third the cholesterol. The benefits probably come from the food they eat…” Everyday Food May 2011 Ya think?Plus they taste so rich and amazing compared to what you can get from the store. Since I’ve gotten used to them, when the chickens stop laying in the winter, we pretty much don’t eat eggs. The stuff from the store just tastes so horrible compared to “country eggs” as they call them around here. It’s funny because just a few years back I would have just thought of eggs as eggs, and bought whatever was cheapest. It’s take a while but the idea is starting to sink in that EVERYTHING is what it eats, and the “Nutrition Facts” vary completely depending on the environment and the quality of food (or soil) available. How can we expect to be healthy when the chicken we eat is breed to be so large breasted it can’t stand up, or when feed under regular conditions grows to be 25 lbs (seriously!!! that’s turkey size) or when you go to grab the chicken and it’s leg comes off in your hand, because its joints are over stressed, or when construction workers (we’re talking big rugged cursing ape type men) are so grossed out by what they see while working on a chicken plant building that they can’t eat chicken anymore? I know those are stories no one wants to hear, but if you are eating chicken from the store…well you are what you eat, and you ought to know what you are. So that’s why we want to raise chickens.
Since we are on the topic of birds, I haven’t seen my guineas since about a week after I let them out. They may still be alive (since they are known for running away) or…The Pestilence may have gotten them…Dan-dun-dun-da

4 thoughts on “Chickens!

  1. Anonymous says:

    CONGRADULATIONS!!!!!!!!Chickens are so much fun. All the black and gray chickens look like Barred Rocks (are you sure that isn't what they are? A lot of people call Barred Rocks Domiques, mistakenly)except thay have feathered legs. Must have a Silkie in thier parents somewhere.For sure don't name them if you ever plan to eat them! -E-rock

  2. c says:

    Well I only know what the neighbor told me who gave them to us. But he's been raising Domiques for years, and just ordered a new patch this year, which ours came out of, so I'm guessing he knows what he's talking about…but I can only guess. I've been thinking of and praying for ya'll recently. I hope you are all well!

  3. Hi(I came over from your comment on "On Just a Couple of Acres"). When I first saw the chickens I thought they were Barred Rocks, we have some of those but they don't have feathers on their legs. But after searching the internet they do look like Dominques which is also a barred chicken. This is our first year to have chickens, we have 32. My 11 and 9 yr olds are raising them to sell the eggs. But the whole family enjoys them. The 2 yr. old calls them "Hickens". We have a rooster also, I think he helps keep the ladies in line.

  4. c says:

    Hi and welcome! Isn't Quinn's blog great? Wow! 32 is a lot to start with. We just have a little set up. How great to give the kids a way to actually make (not just earn) money on their own. I hope it goes well for them.

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