Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Chicken Project

I've had a lot of inquiries on the chickens... to which I keep promising I'll write about, and then never do.

I have to say, I think avoiding writing a post about them might be part of my "If I ignore them maybe they'll disappear" fantasy. They are not fuzzy little chicks any more, people. They are getting larger, louder, flappier, and very chicken like. Way too much bird for my comfort. I know this is the point. But my fear of birds comes out more and more.

Yesterday I heard them start chirping which means one of two things. 1) they have kicked enough pine shavings into their waterer to clog it 2) they have run out of food. It turned out to be the food. They bigger they are getting the more food we're going through. As it should be I suppose.

I reach in to grab the feeder and one of the chickens squacks and starts flying and flapping at me. It startled me, it all happened so fast. I screamed, dropped the feeder and jumped away from the pen lest they all realize I've been taken off guard, break the barrier and start all attacking me. I take a deep breath, knowing the ridiculousness of my reaction and wait for the commotion in the pen to settle down. Since I had put the feeder back down (dropped it) they all figured that meant food was back in there - bird brains.

So I retrieve the feeder and as I walk to the side of the garage where the food is.. they all follow as close as they can along the side of their pen. When I pour the bag of feed... there's more noise. I walk back and they move so I can put the feeder in it's place, and they all start running all around in anticipation of the food. I think they let on like they're unintelligent just to fool you into thinking you can let your guard down. Then they will attack you at some point catching you unaware.

I walk back in the house shut the door and breath a sigh of relief that even if they could get out of their pen they could never work their way into the house. Then I feel concerned that I screamed in the garage and Jacob didn't hear me. Hmmm..

Now on to the practical answers about the chickens. They are just egg layers. No meat birds this time. We did raise meat birds in the past. If you've ever considered raising your own meat chickens it is highly worth it. It's not hard, the meat is delicious, and you can often times raise a few extra birds to sell and cover the expenses of ALL the chickens which means you get free range, healthy, delicious chicken for the cost of your time.

The plan was that we were going to build a little coop in our backyard. Our town has a loop hole in their law regarding the size of your land and chickens. We were contacted however after looking into being told the board decided that chickens fall into the category of "not limited to." My mom's neighbor, good friend of ours, and long time resident of the town says "Just keep them! You can fight it!" I say... we were sort of warned and really, I don't want to be fined.

So the plan now is that we will raise the chickens until they are large enough and they will join the other chickens over at my parents farm. This is fantastic news for me. Because that means I don't have to confront the chickens to gather their eggs! I just help with feed expenses. The farm boy does all the gathering and cleaning anyway.. which again, cleaning - no big deal, feeding - no big deal, moving chickens to gather eggs - I'm so glad I don't have to do it!!! Maybe I will give said farm boy a Christmas present each year to thank him.. maybe it will be a chicken. Hahaha

I love farm fresh eggs and I love farms. Deep down inside, I just don't have the mystical bond between man and animal. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I want to be more of a country girl. But really, I'm a bad chicken farmer.

Here are the villains fiends feathered beasts pullets currently :

Don't let their innocent faces fool you!

1 comment:

jackie said...

RYC: Lael is almost 7 going on 18. She is very precocious.

And I'm so glad for you that you don't have to deal with the chickens!!