Join me while I make a mess, create interesting meals and convince my family to try new things. From Bacon Cupcakes to Wild Leek Risotto, I'm full of creative comfort food ideas and have a passion for fresh, flavorful ingredients. I will also be reviewing some of my favorite local (and some non-local, if I'm lucky) restaurants, giving helpful gardening tips and telling stories about my lovely chickens. Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
My Girls (yes, I do know they are chickens)
When we bought our first house I told my husband I wanted chickens and a goat. I don't think he quite believed me. Of course, we ended up having way too many projects, and a newborn baby, our second daughter, kept our life complicated enough for the first year. But a bit over a year ago I started getting the itch. I pushed for another baby. I pushed for a dog. I've always wanted a full (to the brim) life.
I got them as pullets for $1 each
We compromised at chickens and a veggie garden. I was so excited to show my daughters what food really is, where it really comes from. I got the chickens expecting that they would lay eggs until the winter months, and then provide us with a nice slightly non-traditional Thanksgiving meal. I tried to prepare my oldest daughter mentally for this fated day when all the chickens were going to be suddenly gone, and she did not like it. I talked with her about it often, telling her if she had a problem with it that it was ok, but that then she should have a problem with eating all chickens - not just hers. She wasn't ready to make the leap to vegetarian, but she might have if we had butchered the chickens that fall.
My main motivation in butchering them before winter was I wasn't quite sure what to do with the chickens with all the snow and freezing temperatures. I did a lot of googling and I didn't find any great information. Some people said they'd need light for half of the day to keep laying eggs. Some said they wouldn't lay any eggs. Some said they'd need a heater.
Well, guess what? Winter came early last year and I just kept letting them live and provide us with eggs and they ended up sticking around. They were just fine on their own - no light bulb, no heater. A heated dog bowl to keep the water from freezing and a tarp over the chicken run to keep the snow out was all they needed. They did take a brief egg laying hiatus towards Spring, but it only lasted a couple weeks.
Next time, I'd build it differently, but I love their little cabin
I love my chickens now and they're past their prime as far as food goes, so they'll be sticking around providing me with amazing eggs for as long as they let me. I've learned a lot from them and my kids love being little farmers. I love being a bit more sustainable here in the city. It makes me proud to be able to provide for my family and neighbors in some way. Having the kids in the neighborhood come over to "The Farm" as they call it and learn about eggs and chickens is very rewarding - and given what little common knowledge there is left of the farming world I feel like it is very important work. One should know where eggs come from. It's surprising how many people don't know that you don't need a rooster for the hens to lay eggs.
The tiny egg is what they call an egg-fart, no yolk
It's really great to live in an area where it is not only accepted but welcomed. I've been happy to see some suburbs embracing the trend, as well. I think it's important for those who can to take the time to unravel some of the automatic luxuries. I love when people choose the farmer's market instead of Whole Foods. I get really excited when people are interested in raising chickens, and I really hope people continue to place value in where their food is coming from. If you are considering raising chickens, please feel free to contact me and ask questions. I'm more than happy to convince anyone they need these little ladies in their lives.
Anyway, I'd like to introduce them to you -
Madonna, the beautiful
Priscilla, the bold
Duckie, the timid
Well, that's all for now, but now that you're all acquainted I'm sure you'll be hearing more about them.