Monday, April 5, 2010

The Poultry Project

Growing up, my family had a small flock of chickens. We had several hens and one evil rooster. It was my job to gather eggs and feed the chickens each morning. It wouldn't have been too terrible a chore if not for that damn rooster. Lucifer incarnate. As I approached the coop he would flap his wings and scratch the ground like a little feathered bull waiting to charge. Clucking and crowing and watching me with those little black eyes. I would force open the door swinging my egg basket, yelling and kicking while that stupid bird pecked my toes and tried to poke out my eyes with his spurs. He was horrible.

I tried to explain to my mother how wicked a bird he was. My mother said to stop whining and just get the eggs. I begged her to gather eggs for me, telling tales of my valiant escapes from the rooster's feathery clutches and showing her my wounds where I had been pecked and spurred. Rolling her eyes, my mother grabbed the egg basket in one hand, my arm in the other and marched down the hill to the chicken coop. She unlatched the gate, stepped inside.....and two weeks later, that rooster was in the pressure cooker.

I hope never to have to deal with a rooster again. But I cannot deny the versatility and usefulness of having your own chickens. Farm fresh eggs every day, right in your backyard. How cool is that? Unfortunately, my HOA does not allow me to have my own chickens. However, my friend Anna, who lives about a half a mile away can have chickens. And lucky for me, she wants to have chickens! Anna and her family have graciously agreed to let me keep chickens at their house. I will pitch in for feed (we both agree organic is best) and clean the coop a couple of times a week. In exchange, I get fresh eggs, chicken manure for our compost bin, and a chance to share my "rural heritage" with my kids. I am so very excited!!

Since Anna has never had chickens and it's been ages since I've had my own, we decided to start small with two chickens apiece, four total. We have two Ameraucanas (which will lay green eggs!) and two Barred Rock hens. I took the family to meet our new chicks yesterday. The kiddos are pretty excited, even though they don't quite understand why our chickens have to stay at Anna's, or why it will take twenty weeks before they start laying. Either way, my daughter christened our two chicks Olivia and Minnie. Welcome to the family Olivia and Minnie. May you live long and lay often.

1 comment:

  1. Phennias and Franklin, Olivia and Minnie... you're collecting quite a few pets! We've been getting fresh eggs from a friend that has 30 chickens and she doesn't like eggs. She LOVES chickens, so she gives them to everyone at school. AWESOME!