As of March 17, 2011, I became a chicken owner. Over the next few months, until present date, I would receive many crash lessons about their daily care and mannerisms. I studied chickens for years, but I never really let any of it soak in since there was vast information relating to breeds, size of flocks and feeding conditions.
One of the first lessons I've learned is that chickens add a bit of spice to your life. Unlike a usual pet, you do not have to give them cuddle time, yet our chickens do allow you to pet them; you do not have to bathe your chickens, but they do like to fluff themselves in a good dry dirt bath; and you do not have to teach them commands because they simply follow your lead.
|Yes, the chicks were in a master bathroom tub for a few weeks.|
Learning how to switch gears to adult children will often make you cringe, but as your kids get into their 20's, the "nurturing" you try to show to them is suddenly interpreted as "interfering." Augh! This is where the chickens come in...they have helped to re-direct some of my "nurturing" energy. Even though I am learning to be an empty nester, I have chickens and can busy myself with checking THEIR nest! I feel like a kid again. An old kid, but a kid nonetheless. My daughters crack up over my excitement about my chickens. For years, my kitchen has been decorated with chickens and rooster artwork, but I finally get to look at the REAL things in my backyard! Our chickens do bring me tremendous joy. Deputy Dave feels the same way. We're having a ball raising chickens!
However, as I've done for years...I'm rather obsessed about all things "chicken." In fact, every time I see a flash on the television screen with chickens as the star, I am riveted in place and cranking up the volume. If you have chickens, or have had chickens, or have a dream of getting some chickens, or if you are interested in chickens...you are my kind of people.
|Deputy Dave enjoying the chickens free-ranging in|
his garden so that pests are reduced.
The first few pictures that I posted online of my chickens were hysterical because I had no idea as to the kind of breed we had purchased.
|As the chicks get older, we can see that two are clearly|
different. Also, we begin to see than two are probably roosters. Oh nooo!
|The chickens love hearing the bucket with feed being shaken.|
They come running.
Then, Rina from http://www.pumpkinpatchgarden.blogspot.com/ suggested the same thing...that we had Buff Orpingtons. Rina has chicken dramas that are sometimes so sad, but they are part of the real world of owning chickens. She's honest and raw about her experiences. Since she lives in New South Wales, Australia, I find myself reading her blog with a Crocodile Dundee accent. Yes, I have an exotic side. I wonder if she hears my Texas drawl?
Another valuable blog pal who reminds me of Hermione from Harry Potter is LindaG at http://www.me-lindag.blogspot.com/ and she is a research Queen. If I have a question, she is definitely a big help at finding an answer. She has wisdom and experience and determination to get answers. Both Linda and I are trying so hard to get to the point to where we can actually live on our farm land and FARM it! I can't even express how much I appreciate her!
There are so many blog buddies who are offering help and sharing in my excitement of waiting for the first egg to be found! I am making my enjoyable rounds to everyone's blog and the lessons I'm learning in the meantime are pretty awesome.
|HERE SHE IS! We do not know her breed. |
Her rooster counterpart has been
re-located and that means we have 5 Buff Orpingtons and
this one gal who is a Mystery Chicken.
Normally, I am great at research, but this is what happens as I start to look up an answer for a chicken question...for example, if I am trying to figure out what color eggs my chickens will lay...I get onto the first chicken website and see a set of little chicks with black fuzz, and I wonder, "What kind of chickens are these?"
So, I go off on a search to read all about those black fuzzy chickens.
Then, I see some weird looking chicken that is listed as "ornamental" so I have to stop to read about its strange existence and purpose.
And so on, and so on. The chicken intrigue never ends. At least not for me.
Then, I am back to my original question, left unanswered. Yet, my head is congested with more chicken information than I intended to gather. And, I may be left contemplating the difficulties of raising a "rumpless" chicken. Tired of researching topics that have veered off my main subject, I decide to log onto my blog and find that Rae, Rina or Linda has made helpful comments and answers about my questionable subject!
|The chickens enjoying their Chicken Tractor, built by Deputy Dave.|
All seven of them are trying to get a peek outside.
|Weeks later, ONE Buff Orpington is so huge that she takes|
up the entire entrance!
I'm hoping someone can help me out with the rogue chicken breed label. I've conducted some research, but a little thumbnail picture cannot confirm whether that is the kind of chicken you have or not. I've seen some contender answers, but am never exactly sure if I've tagged the little gal correctly. Little mystery chicken is called "Miss. Speckles." Such a sweet bird. She's smaller than the rest; she is mostly white with speckles. The truth is, Miss. Speckles is pretty darn cute. She "talks" to me more than the Buff Orpingtons. Miss Speckles is a chatty little gal. I wonder what her eggs will look like...
As I move along in this wonderful time in life, I finally get to raise my first flock of chickens and experience the beauty of owning chickens that generations of farmers have previously known. I am delighted. This week should be interesting because we'll be adding a few golf balls to their coop nesting boxes. Why golf balls? Supposedly, this helps trick an egg-memory into their chicken brains that will encourage laying in the area of the golf balls. I think this was a tip that I read in one of my Countryside magazines about three years ago. I'll let you know how it goes; the golf balls placed as fool's eggs might help or they might not, but either way, they won't go to waste, and I WILL find the eggs no matter where they're laid!