On December 31, 2011, we brought chickens back to the farm.
I have a bad habit of over-researching things, and in the process I talk myself out of doing anything, ever. This year, I’m resolving to actually do some of the things on my to do lists. So, when I found a Craigslist ad for 2 coops, 8 hens, and all the supplies I need to start raising chickens, I decided to just go for it – even if New Year’s Eve is not the ideal moment to embark on this endeavor.
This was a great way for me to get started. I was too busy (watching Saved By the Bell and eating cookies) to get involved in 4-H when I was a kid, so I was shocked to discover that there are over 100 different chicken breeds. I had no idea how to decide which one to buy.
The chickens for sale were all Rhode Island Reds. As it turns out, this is one of the hardy breeds my Great Grandfather used to raise on the farm. He also raised Plymouth Rocks. My grandmother says she remembers training them to follow her around. [Note: the following day, she told me that it is impossible to train chickens. She's pretty old.]
The past three days have been quite an adventure. We had some crazy wind, a bit of snow, and some very cold temperatures. I’ve read all kinds of books in preparation for this, but I think the easiest way to figure out how to take care of chickens is to just get some. They’ll tell you what to do. Today, I spent some time hanging out with them, feeding them scratch grain (chicken candy), and trying to learn their language. They still don’t seem to trust me. They must not realize I haven’t eaten chicken in 14 years.
I’m having fun with my new buddies. This old homestead is starting to look, sound, and feel more like a farm every day. Thank you so much, everyone who helped me get these girls moved and settled in their new home (on a holiday!): Marie & Dawn, Dad, Natalie & Trevor, Hubert, and the Herbert family. You guys are the best!