Tuesday, December 06, 2005

we're hatching a new plan

Pun intended. See, my husband has got this idea that he wants to raise laying chickens in our backyard. Truth be told, the idea is kind of appealing to me as well. So, being the dork that I am I picked up a book at the library yesterday: Living with Chickens: Everything you need to know to raise your own backyard flock. It's a great book with lots of pretty pictures of chickens running around and such. It also contains lots of valuable information. For example, now I know that a pullet is a young female chicken that is not yet a year old. And I know the difference between laying hens and meat birds.

Fresh eggs, now wouldn't that be wonderful? It also seems to me that chicken husbandry would give me a good project to focus on. Not like I sit around on the couch all day eating bonbons, but it wouldn't hurt to have a purpose to each day. And what better way to teach responsibility and accountability to Jerry and the new baby?

Most importantly really, once you have a flock of chickens it wouldn't seem such a stretch to get a nice sheep, shear it, spin its fiber into yarn and knit a shawl. See where this is going?

9 comments:

Chelsie said...

Hi, this is Holly's friend, Chelsie, with some thoughts about chickens. My mom adored chicks in the springtime, and every year, we'd have a box in the entry way covered with a towel... full of little chicks warmed by a garage lamp. She thought it good for us to take care of animals during the summer - feeding and whatnot. And come winter, the chickens would go on a "vacation" to the only farmer in town. (One year we actually butchered them, but the experience was so traumatic for my mom, that the freezer was still full of them the following year.)

My younger sister (she's 5) now has chickens, and she and my Dad are busy building a winter home for her brood - no more vacations for these chickens. She has a rooster named Jerry, and another (female) chicken named Tom (see her pattern?), two are named Cherry & Mary (also referred to by her as "the twins") - and the last, a white chicken, is Fluffy. She introduces them, in 5-year old speak, as "Tom, Jerry, Cherry, Mary - and Fluffy."

Our didn't lay eggs - but the thought sounds wonderful! Your kids will love them...

Mandy said...

Hello Chelsie, nice to meet you!

See, having a "brood" sounds like such fun! I don't think we'd raise them to eat them, we have no freezer space. But then again it would give the husband a really good reason to get a big ol' freezer. And I think the good mother-in-law probably has slaughtered a few chickens in her day.

We'll see, I still haven't even consulted the city to see if it's legal yet.

Sarah said...

Perhaps I am a city mouse, but it seems to me that chickens would be a huge pain in the ass. Like, the idea of fresh eggs is nice, but chickens are extremely stupid birds, and plus there's salmonella.

Oh, I am such a dork. I apologize.

H-SPO said...

and there is the whole bird flu thing. you can teach the kids about that. watch out for mad cow too...

sorry, my glass (as well as sarah's) seems to be half empty today.

chelsie...making the gordon three debut.
love it.

Anne said...

My cousin Nancy who lives in the town north of us - sort of CT suburban rural (check out the Durham Fair) - has five horses, three goats, and at one time, she had a bunch of chickens, and two roosters. A neighbor complained about the roosters crowing, so Nancy changed her brood strategy, keeping only roosters, until she had about 30 of them.

Heehee. Cockadoodledooo bigtime.

tracy said...

i don't really know much about the chicken thing as i don't eat meat but i do eat eggs and would love to have eggs from chickens that i raise...especially knowing what i was feeding them.

the point of the post, though, is to say that sarah's comment really cracked me up. i actually giggled outloud.

Mandy said...

You guys are dorks (holly & sarah)! Trying to quash my grand plan before I've even gotten started.

I've already read about how roosters are loud and can be big pains in the ass. So since we live in the city, we'd probably not have any roosters. Or we'd rent a rooster for a while if we wanted to raise chicks. Or own a rooster who lived at another farm. Surprisingly, we live in the city, but I think there are farms and such only about a mile away. It is the south, you know.

We have a coop, kind of, already. It would just need some major renovation to get it ready for chickens.

I'm setting out to prove you all wrong!!! You wait and see!! (Now I just need to call the city...

H-SPO said...

have you seen the episode of sex and the city where there is a rooster or chicken or something crowing outside of carrie's window? it is quite funny.

Mandy said...

i vaguely remember it. as with everything in my life that i vaguely remember. i don't have details.