Chicken Love

DSC_0037 (2)The ladies have arrived  and are settling nicely into the “summer cottage” as my friend calls it. We picked the three of them up last Sunday evening and so far so good.

They are laying hens that we’ll keep through the summer and fall after which they may return to their winter home at my friend’s farm. Or we’ll build them a coop more suited for a Canadian winter. For now the (cute!) little coop put together by my son and I is working like a charm.

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The three hens are currently nameless but are certain to end up with a moniker of sorts as most things do (animate or not) in our household…we have a TV remote control named Norman.

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My friends in the know, and the folks at the feed and farm materials store have been wonderfully patient and generous with advice and recommendations as I learn the world of chickens.

Here’s what I do know so far.

They love watermelon and are not keen on the three dogs milling around. After seeing how intrigued our Boston Terriers are in the hens, I quickly realized that keeping things out is far more critical than keeping the birds in. I’ve now purchased sturdier fencing for the pen. 

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I’ve also learned the ladies make the most beautiful noises. I didn’t know how lovely and soothing their gentle clucking and squawking would be.

They generally seem quite content in their new digs. 

They’re productive too. We’ve already had six eggs in four days which is right on what we were expecting. The first egg was truly exciting. I thought the ones that came after would be less so but not the case. I am equally thrilled each time I check the next boxes and find an egg. I carefully grasp it in my hand – not too firm but not so loose as to risk dropping it while I carry it back to the house.

As you see here, Egg Number One and Egg Number Two were objects of great delight in our house  and yes…they did feature in a bit of a photo shoot on my kitchen counter. 

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Also admitting a little lunacy here – I actually had a picture of Egg Number One on my phone and asked someone if they wanted to see it the other day. Sort of like baby pictures…but weird. Thankfully they turned out to be equally passionate about chickens they used to keep so I was saved from the embarrassment of an exceptional awkward moment.

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You will be glad to know that I’ve not gone right off the rails though and I do happily use these delicious fresh eggs.

A few nights ago I whipped up a batch of muffins and the result was magnificent. I’m sure in no small part due to the wonderful bounty produced by our new ladies in waiting.

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