Friday, September 18, 2009

Soufflé, Anyone?

So far, being a chicken “farmeress” has been quite the experience.

We started out with 10 checks at the beginning of April. We lost one due to a hungry cat. As they started to mature, we realized we ended up with 6 roosters and 3 hens. Then we changed our minds and thought it was 5 roosters and 4 hens. We decided the roosters would make a great stew, but neither my husband nor I was brave enough to kill the darned things and nobody else wanted to, either. So we gave the 5 roosters to a nice man who’d just bought a large property here in the White Mountains. Last I heard, they were comfortably roaming his property in an enclosure along with a goat.

The four chickens we kept are named Peaches, Zelda, Henrietta (the little red hen), and Pat. Pat, of course, was the chicken of ambivalent sex (remember Pat from Saturday Night Live?). It didn’t take long to realize how wrong we were about Pat. Within a couple days of getting rid of the roosters, Pat began to crow. He now crows all day long and spends his time not eating and pooping jumping on the hens. Pat does not have a real good grasp on the concept of foreplay. He bites the hens on the neck, then jumps aboard for a full 10 seconds of pleasure.

Our chicken farming has finally paid off. After weeks of threatening the hens to start laying or they would go the way of the roosters, they did. At least two of them, anyway. We are getting about two eggs a day, which is a good amount for just my husband and me.

Maybe I’m weird, but going out to the coop is like Christmas. When I open up the nesting box and there’s an egg or two waiting, it’s like finding a little present inside. I carefully scoop up the eggs and place them in the cartons I’ve been saving for months. They’re not the biggest eggs, actually pretty small, with thick brown shells. The yolks are really bright, more orange than yellow. But hey, I’m not complaining. At least the girls finally got the hint.

Soufflé, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. I loved keeping freerange chickens when I still lived in Wales. Unfortunately I haven't the space to keep them now, but I agree, it's a real thrill to visit the coop and find a few fresh eggs - and those lovely orange eggs show they're fresh and full olf natural goodness, unlike some of the eggs you'll get from a supermarket!