Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why Chickens?

Why did I decide to get backyard chickens?

I ...can't quite remember.  

I remember I bought a house, and then planted a garden, and discovered the miracle of a compost heap.  I read books and articles relating to these new acquisitions, and started wading deeper in to the waters of organics, heirlooms, homesteading, sustainability, and local food.  Am I a sucker for hippie fads?  Or does the food just taste THAT GOOD?
Backyard bounty and a lamb from St. Paul
...Next thing I knew I was building a chicken coop.  
 It seems like the cart has gotten ahead of the horse somehow...
Ok, I can think of some of the things that helped seal the chicken deal for me:

-sampling free-range duck, turkey, quail, goose, and chicken eggs at my local co-op.  These eggs were unlike any other egg I had ever experienced.  (if you ever have a chance to buy a goose egg, do not miss it!)

-learning that some breeds of chicken lay green eggs!

-learning that you can tell what color eggs a hen will lay by the color of her earlobes.  Chickens have earlobes??  I needed a chicken just so I could marvel over her earlobes from time to time.

-discovering that I am allowed to keep chickens in my city.  You may recall this is the same way I ended up growing Giant Pumpkins.

-Chickens go great with Compost Heaps.  I just love my Compost Heap.

And there you have it.  The coop, about 75% complete, is on my porch until the chicks can move outside.  (As chicks they need temperatures near 90 degrees, but once they grow up they will stay outside during all seasons.)  The chicks are almost a week old.  I chose three breeds that are known to be hearty and docile, and one that lays green eggs.  Here they are at their public debut:


These adorable fluff balls will be full grown chickens in a month, and will start laying eggs later this summer!

Many people ask if we will ever eat them.  For now I am leaving the question open; as they have several good years of productive laying ahead of them, I don't have to answer that now.  I'm trying to keep an open mind.

1 comment:

  1. tee hee - love that last picture of you thinking about eating the cute fluffy chick. =)
    Yes, when you get into gardening, one thing sort of leads to another!
    (Welcome to blogland by the way!)