The chickens are coming! The chickens are coming! Oh wait, no–they’re here. That is how most things in our life come to be, we think it & then we do it. I prefer to think this behavior spontaneous, not irresponsible- I’ll let you to decide for yourself.
Anyway, they are here. We bought 4 young chicks for only $2.29 a piece at Southern States Farming Supply store on Friday. They’re soft, sweet, & adorable, all traits that we expect will change in just a few short weeks–traits that we eagerly await being replaced by incredible edibles.
Just like the bees have been, we think the chickens will serve several purposes. First, the eggs. Secondly, the poop–GREAT for gardens. Third, they eat pests from our crops & dispose of unwanted chicken scraps. They’ll eat about anything. And fourthly, they’re fantastic for Naomi. She is our little farm-girl, even if our farm is quite pequeno. She has already assumed some responsibility (as noted in the title for this entry) for the chicks & is learning about the care it requires to take care of other living things. Although she’s also loved experiencing the bees, this will be her first year actually participating in hive maintenance & will probably be from a distance.
And fifth–not to forget, having chickens is a great way to make a connection between reality and our dinner plate. We are very exclusive about the meats will eat, and although that’s been a difficult & inconvenient life-choice at times, having these chickens will only strengthen this conviction. We firmly believe that we’re the stewards of this earth & we need to understand where our food comes from & respect it.
Here’s the low-down:
3 are New Hampshire Reds–good for eating & laying brown eggs
1 is a Leghorn-good for laying white eggs
We expect to get some eggs by July (approx 5months old)
A few other breeds we researched & recommend are Rhode Island Reds & Sexlinks (although these are hybrids but you’re certain to get hens not roosters due to coloring)
Pocketful of Poultry by Carol Ekarius
And for those of you building your garden. have you:
- Made a list of what you want. Exclude things you DON’T want/eat (for me that’s cucumbers). Only grow things you have interest in, whether that’s herbs, flowers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, etc…
- Ordered seeds? Try Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
- Built beds?
- Gotten seed starter trays? (particularly for tomatoes & peppers)
- Purchased compost? Topsoil? Hay? (all this sounds like a lot, but it comes together as you’d expect it to…simply.