Look at those faces! And those scraggly, sad tails. The chickens were much more dinosaur-like when we first acquired them as pullets just over a year ago – actually, a year ago last Sunday. They took to their new home just like fearless dinosaurs after we lifted them bodily out of their boxes.
Man, all that confused clucking. So much confused clucking.
Now, of course, they look a lot more like chickens.
I was a little hesitant about getting so many chickens way back when, but was mostly up for it. I mean, I ate three + eggs a day, right? We could keep up with it.
Then I learned I was sensitive to chicken eggs…
Still, we manage. We have friends who buy extra eggs and we pay egg-rent to the chicken’s landlord. We bring in extra eggs to work to sell and sometimes make a lot of eggy baked goods. All in all, we’ve kept on top of our eggs and go through them almost as soon as we get them. If we did it again, I might vie for a handful less chickens, but having more than we need is actually really nice. I enjoy spreading backyard chicken goodness to our friends and forcing them on coworkers as needed. We started on this venture to avoid CAFO chickens, after all, and do what we could to support better chicken practices, so sharing those eggs with as many people as possible means that many fewer CAFO eggs are bought.
I was a vegetarian once, in ye olde days, and when I switched back to om(nomnom)nivorism, I did so with the caveat that I continue to care about animal welfare. So we get our beef from a local CSA and try to source the best chicken we can and now we raise our own eggs. Spreading those eggs around only furthers my (nefarious) goals.
I am glad we got chickens. I am glad we built the coop ourselves and know every inch of it and know every one of our ladies, if not by name. I have learned way more than I ever knew was possible about chickens and I know there’s more to learn. They’re relatively simple creatures.
I wish we didn’t have to go to another property to take care of them. I wish we could have chickens right on our porch. I also wish we could know what killed the one. But those are small things and given the opportunity, I would do it all again. Just, maybe with eight or ten chickens instead of a round dozen.