Thursday, May 15, 2008
Lets start with the chickens
A few weeks ago I bought some baby chicks. Bantams. I have a cochin, a gold seabright, a silver seabright and 3 red Old English. After researching several online hatcheries and discovering that a minimum order of chicks is 25, we took a trip to Escondido Feed. My dh's cousin lives in Escondido and lives a life that some days I think I would like, but then realize I'm probably too lazy. She and her dh have several acres, seven children, milk goats, sheep and dozens of chickens. They have a huge garden plot and beautiful fruit trees. It made me nostalgic for my hometown. Minus the avocado trees. And being nostalgic is the reason I was buying chicks in the first place.
I grew up in a town of about 400 people. We had land. And animals. Now that I live in a town of about 4 million of my closest friends I get a little homesick now and then. Every once in a while I need a reminder of where I grew up. To get out of the city, to see open space, to understand where my food actually comes from. And to bring the best the country has to offer to my tiny little plot of earth.
So after being encouraged by sites like The City Chicken, My Pet Chicken , and Backyard Chickens , and remembering I did give a report about chickens in my Animal Science class in college, dh and I decided to take the plunge.
Now we have 6 peeping baby chicks in our garage under a light bulb to keep them warm. Our family sits on a blanket on the cement floor and watches the chicks like we were watching tv. I love it. Its too soon to tell which ones are pullets (hens) and which are cockerels (roosters). When the cockerels are big enough, we'll take them back to Escondido where they will make someone happy. And full. The pullets will start to lay eggs when they are about 6 months old. Bantams lay miniature eggs, but they'll taste the same. Dd is the omelet maker of the family and she can't say enough about really fresh eggs.
I hope to have at least 3 pullets to happily scratch around my yard, eating bugs and looking pretty. I won't let the kids name them because I already have a plan for their names. I'm as bad as an expecting parent with baby names.
The chicks are already celebrities in our neighborhood, and I've taken them into my ds's class at school. I love that I can share this interest with my children. I'm not ready to let them be city slicker sissies. A little chicken poop isn't going to hurt you. Just ask the 400 people in my home town. Go ahead, it won't take long.