|Posted by jazminprice on January 13, 2011 at 1:45 AM|
Well my commitment to writing a new post weekly has truly fallen by the wayside! It seems that time, holidays and technical difficulties have gotten in the way repeatedly. Oh, but that is all the spice of life right?
So many times I have said “I will write about…” only to forget the details during the day. Even as I write this current post I hear a baby crying, wanting his mommy, I press on and will continue to type! Maybe typing a bit quieter!
My last few weeks, and those that know me may roll their eyes or click away as they know what I am about to ramble on about, have been filled with working with the chickens in the yard. I have been on an adventure from cheeping little balls of fluff to beautiful strutting birds and now… eggs! My family and I have put much effort into this endeavor! And our reward? Beautiful brown huge eggs!
So why am I posting about this? What is the big deal? Well, get a cup of joe and hear me out!
Not too long ago we decided to clean up our act in the nutrition department. I suppose I could have just bought granola and yogurt and called it good, but once again those that know me, understand that would not have done the job… SO I went (and continue) to embark on crazy schemes and have odd pots full of interesting “stuff” that I try out on the family along with glorious plans to “homestead” our huge 1/5 acre “Farm”!
We became very curious about where our food came from and how it got from point A to our dinner table. Brief warning here his journey is not for the faint of heart. My kids now ask “Is that hot dog mechanically separated?” and went in to full detail with their grandparents on the horrors of mechanically separated meats. Eventually this led us to chickens and eggs…The house was full of chicken talk, eggs, pullets and chicks! Luckily it was just in time for the good old neighborhood Tractor Supply to begin getting in shipments of chicks… see, the universe was telling me something. Jason (my husband) swears it was just great marketing… humph. And soon we came home with a box (okay several boxes) of beautiful prize winning (in our eyes) biddies… biddys? Chicks and yes they lived in our house and had round the clock care, including traveling with us.
We read many articles, websites, chatted with farmers and got together this awesome plan on how to make a fortune in eggs… well at least have some great scrambled eggs out of this deal all antibiotic, hormone-free, free range and organic! Needless to say, when I presented my well thought out plans to more experienced chicken “ranchers” (?) There were several chuckles and I am not sure, but I think they were at my expense.
Nonetheless, my chicks were babied, loved, coddled and cared for. I carefully planned each step and tried to prepare as best I could. I discovered much along the way! We braved chicken hawks and snakes, dogs, heat and cold. Many of my ideas worked, such as placing a heating pad under the waterer to keep it from freezing, and having the kids spend countless hours desensitizing them. My huge rooster daily comes looking for is rubs and treats! Of course some did not work so well, my lab pup loves the birds too much and has proven that twice, the small rooster obviously wasn’t loved enough when he was a chick because he has issues and sadly they will be resolved in the soup pot this weekend.
All our adventures were great fun with the family, but the cold weather seemed to zap all the fun out of it. Kids were schlepping scrap bucket after bucket to the coop, petting, clucking and loving the chickens but where were the golden eggs mommy promised. I finally had to break the news to the kids, while the flock was certainly old enough, the winter would probably prevent us from getting our first eggs until spring. I got the saddest looks, moaning and groaning some even suggested chicken soup and becoming ovo-vegans… after much encouraging the schlepping continued.
And not a week after the sad news my oldest came running from the coop yelling “get a basket, get a basket”. There were eggs! And thousands from the sound of it! There were actually only two but the numbers has since increased, averaging a dozen a day. Currently, we have eggs out our ears! And those naysayers are amazed at my beautiful eggs. They remark how the hens shouldn’t be laying this many in winter and how pretty and huge the eggs are! And I must admit every morning I go to the coop and expect the boxes to be empty, it is winter after all, and yet there they are beautiful brown eggs. I thank my beautiful hens and cluck as I throw then treats!
I am already preparing for more little balls of fluff this spring, if you have ever owned a chicken you can understand we have truly fallen for these clucking beauties! While we are not totally organic and still working on the methods of our madness I declare success!
Oddly enough this journey began about nine months ago. I set out to do something that is very common (or at least used to be) in this neck of the woods. But I set out to do it differently. I got many sideways looks, comments and even flat our insistings that my way “just wouldn’t work”. But we did it anyway, took responsibility for what we wanted, what we desired and followed that journey. Isn’t that what we do in the birthing world? We have to find our own way; we have to go against the flow, against the naysayers?
I have discovered that episodes and journeys in our life mirror our soul’s journey. So while some may say “they are just chickens” I see them as a method life has used to teach me some very important lessons. The journey is just as much about creating and defining your experiences along the way as it is about arriving at your destination.