Sunday, November 20, 2011

#141 - What am I Eating?

For the past several years, I've partly decorated my kitchen with the chicken-rooster theme. I guess I was headed for the day of owning chickens. I didn't think we'd take the chicken plunge in our backyard here in the city limits, but we did.

Getting to see the real thing as I look at my windows into the backyard is indescribable. Of course, I can still look at my wall art and other chicken mementos and feel as if the coop is around an imaginary corner. But, there's also a REAL one right around the corner --- in my BACKYARD!

My sign on the wall that says, "Fresh Eggs" is no longer a wish that I would like to come true. It is a reality for our kitchen. Fresh eggs are indeed available, every day. Granted, the colder weather has taken us from 4-5 eggs laid per day to 3-4 laid per day, but we're still in the Fresh Egg category every day around here.

I love having eggs in the fridge that do not come from the grocery store. At first, I admit, it was difficult to eat an egg that came from the backyard throat would close up and I had a hard time getting past the REALITY factor of the business end of a chicken laying an egg. I was a typical example of a city person too far removed from the truths of farm life and the source of our available food. Having the authentic thing, chickens, in my backyard soon cured me of my comfortable detachment.

My city-induced mental barrier was short-lived, as soon as I tasted my first few Fresh Eggs, I was hooked. These days, if I had to eat an egg from the grocery store, especially after eating such incredibly fresh eggs for so many months, I think I'd have to do some powerful mental exercises to make myself swallow. I can't even stop to consider all of the other foods that I am swallowing while not REALLY knowing where it came from, other than from the grocery store with a bar code attached. I'm not so comfortable with the blind trust that I've incorporated into my life thus far. The blind trust is beginning to fade.

My roasted chicken --- chicken purchased from
the grocery store. I hope to one day have farm fresh
chicken processing so we can eat with complete comfort
of knowing where our food came from.
So, as far as the eggs go, I hope the chickens keep laying eggs every day. However, I know that the cold weather slows down egg production. And, we have seen it happening to our chickens, as mentioned already. As for us Southerners, I don't know exactly what that boils down to because we don't have the same patterns of crop issues, livestock issues and such as does the North. I guess I'll find out first-hand how it will work out as I also absorb bits and pieces of information gathered along the way.

The weather here in Texas is like a roller-coaster, one day it is cold, the next it is sweltering...I'm sure this confuses the chickens with their egg production. I have no idea. Maybe these warm days will encourage the chickens to squeeze out a few extra eggs that otherwise would not be formed.

And I will keep eating those eggs with delight while trying to not think too hard about the other food I am swallowing from sources personally uknown to me. FDA, don't let me down!



Mike said...

Hey, I like that Dr. Pepper tub. I might have to come get it. heh

I've heard egg-laying is all in the length of daylight. And, some folks increase the wintertime light with artificial lighting.

Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for Goldie to produce. She'll probably turn out to be a crower, instead. Hmmm, might not be a bad thing, IF Morticia is a she.

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

I am so with you about how scary it is to think about what they are doing to our food. I have really missed having our own veggies these last couple of months and plan come spring to plant much more and can as much as I can.

We too dream of our own meat...Hubby wants to get a bully calf once we have the fences up...but it will be at least 18months before it is ready for the dinner plate.

Blessings Kelsie

Rae said...

I agree on not eating store bought eggs once you've got your own fresh eggs in the back yard. Ew. No. Thank. You. :)

You'll love home raised chicken. We just roasted one of the ones we raised this last spring, and it was deeeeeelicious. Better than any store chicken I've ever had. More... Chickeny. If that makes sense. Probably doesn't, but you'll see/taste what I mean once you've raised your own.

LindaG said...

What Mike said.
Everything I have seen or read says it is in the amount of daylight. Some breeds continue to lay regardless and some slow down.
You can introduce lighting to get the hours of 'daylight' back up to 12-14 hours, but some people believe that shortens the laying life of a hen.
On the yahoo groups I belong to, I read where one lady said her chickens are still laying after 5 or 6 years, and she does not use artificial light.

Can't wait until we have our own chickens. ;-)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well I am another Texas city girl wanting to become a farm girl...or a partial one and I came to your blog to learn from you...if I ever get the chance to experience my dream

Love your pictures...I posted a post one time on my chickens...and yes they were all in picture frames or ceramic

Nice to stop by

A Primitive Homestead said...

I sure hate to admit this but I will not eat an egg unless it is in something baked. My chickens are now laying some. I wanted to have fresh eggs to feed my family & fresh meat. Well they were each named & no eggs by the time I planned to use them as meat. So now I enjoy taking care of them & gathering some eggs. I would like to start with another flock this spring for just meat. They will not be named or held & talked to. I will stick to my first flock for that. Blessings!

Paula said...

Awwww.... your "girls" are so pretty, Lana! Isn't it nice to have pets that make you breakfast? (Well, not actually MAKE it, but you know what I mean... hehe)

Glynis said...

Ah, I miss my rooster themed kitchen I had created in the UK!

I have been wanting hens in the yard for some time now, but not sure the four dogs would tolerate them. I get given so many eggs by the Cypriots that I am not sure I need worry.

Lana at said...

Mike --- I love that Dr. Pepper tub as well. It was a gift to my husband from Henry and Heather, full of REAL old-fashioned Dr. Peppers!!Years ago, I had wanted to decorate my kitchen with "Coke" products because I loved the red color, these days, we're going with Dr. Pepper and chickens! And, my chickens have slowed down their that you mention it, the "shorter" days do make a difference. About your Goldie...with all that head-gear on top, How could you tell if that chicken is a hen? Heck, I couldn't tell I had roosters until it was blatantly obvious. But, over here, as Heather says, we are sexually ILLITERATE. Yep, that's us.

Kelsie --- ever since we gained chickens, we lost our veggie garden. Linda kept telling me that they'd eat my tomatoes and they did. In fact, I thought the tomatoes growing up high on the vines would be safe, but NOOO, the chickens flap their wings until they paritally fly upward to peck the growing tomato off the branch and the bell peppers and the jalapenos and the carrot tops and the lettuce and the potato vines...chickens are great, but we will either have to get them completely separated from our garden or plan on our acreage to keep them far away from our crops. I miss my veggies too! Let me know if you get to process your own meat. I'm trying to gain intelligence in this area which is difficult because I am the one who is a true chicken when it comes to such matters, but I've got to get over it.

Rae --- I have a friend who pays to buy their chickens from a farmer and she says that she will never be able to buy a grocery store chicken again. I can't even imagine. To be honest, I'm trying to remember, but I don't think I've EVER had a farm-fresh chicken for a meal...only the rapid growing kind at the store. Ick.

Linda --- I think the light factor is indeed contributing to their slow down in laying, but we still have plenty of eggs to meet all of our family needs and for Deputy Dave to give someone at work a regular batch of eggs for her family. So, we're doing great on that end. I just hope they keep laying a couple every day. I will be so excited when you get your chickens. The wonderful part about having chickens is that it is a rather rapid return for your efforts, it's just a short time after you get them as chicks and then you have eggs! I love my Buff Orpingtons because they lay nice large brown eggs with a jumbo double-yolked egg every now and then. They are hardy, docile enough to walk around with outside and to have around the kids and very entertaining. But, you know how much I adore Miss Speckles, the little Bantam. Oh, I just love them all!


Lana at said...

Janette --- I don't know how much you'll learn from me, but at least we can get some laughs along the way! I am trying! The lessons will really start flying at us once we get moved to our acreage full-time, but I plan on taking this nice and slow. One step at a time. I think once we move, we'll just focus on trying to figure out how to live in the will be a shock.

Lara --- you sound like me...someone once told me that my farm would be full of nice pets! My husband has set his foot down with the future pigs he will raise for processing, no Wilburs allowed. Our youngest said that she does not want to me ANY animals that will be used for table food. I don't blame her, but on a farm, I think it will be least on a farm that has pets mixed with animals destined for the frying pan. Augh. Makes me nervous thinking about it!

Paula --- Thank you for the compliments on my gals, I am partial, but I sure do love their smiles and their ways of making me laugh so much. Speaking of laughing...You made me laugh out loud! YES, it's wonderful to have animals that make me breakfast, and lunch, and dinner, and in-between snacks. We are big egg eaters over here, but the joy of just having the chickens around is an indulgence in great backyard entertainment.

Glynis --- I love the chicken/rooster theme for a kitchen! When I was growing up, I'd see a kitchen like that and think, "WHAT?" But, for the past few years, I salivate over anything with a chicken or rooster on it. Even my kitchen canisters are painted with roosters, etc. I bet you do miss you kitchen...maybe you can do it again?? As for dogs and chickens, that is definitely an iffy situation. If they are restrained and taught to be around them as chicks, with gentle encouragement, then it might work out. We have three dogs. The last dog, the Yorkie, adopted at about two years of age did indeed attack the chickens, got a mouth full of feathers with a firm reprimand from us and she's never attacked them since. Go figure. But, I hear that some dogs will attack and not stop until every chicken is dead. THAT would be a horror movie in the yard. Shudder.