Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Backyard Chickens

Guess what! We’ve got new babies at our house and we’re loving them silly. I’m sure the photo above gives you a big hint. Yes, we got chickens. Baby chicks to be exact.

I caught chicken fever last fall, but apparently they are a spring thing. Once spring finally arrived, the Kitchen Genius balked (chicken pun intended!). Undeterred, I checked out every book about chickens that I could find at my local libraries and left them laying (ha!) all over the house.

The kids got in on the action too. They were enthusiast supporters of this idea and many dinner conversations centered on the subject. Finally about 10 days ago, KG called and asked, “Do you really want chickens?”

Uh, let’s think about this for a few minutes – or six months...YES! I can’t go into all the details here, because I wrote about our experience for the Cape Cod Times, but if you’re interested you can read the story I wrote here.

Even though I had all those books, I had only been dipping into them here and there. Once I knew my chicklets were coming home, I was an anxious as a pregnant woman expecting her first baby, reading every baby book she can find. Seriously, I ploughed through four books in as many days.

Due date came ten days ago, and the whole family headed to Falmouth to pick up our chicks. Here's what we had to choose from:

Of course everyone had to pick out their own (and name her). This is our son Tommy's little Dumpling. We think she is a Blue Andalusian, which means she could be black or white when she grows up.

We got a chick for our daughter’s boyfriend Gary because he eats dinner at our house every night, so he needs eggs too. Plus, he just really wanted one. Here he is with Piper, who we think is a Silver Laced Wyandotte.

There was no way our granddaughter Skylar was going to be left out of this fun. Her chick is named Tinkerbell and she is a Blue Andalusian too.

The kids spend alot of time watching them. They are more entertaining than TV.

Right now the little ladies live in their coop in our basement, but we’ll be moving them outside in a couple of weeks when the weather gets warmer and KG finishes building a run for them.

I’m so enamored with them that I check on them about ten times a day. We're trying to socialize our chicks because we want them to love us. It seems to be working.

They not only eat out of my hand, but climb into it now. Here's my favorite chicken, Sassy (hopefully a Black Australorp). She and the little yellow Buttercup (a White Rock) are the friendliest ones.

I already plan to get six more next year. Our chicks won’t lay eggs for about five months, but everyone we know already wants our eggs. My hairdresser said she would trade her services for eggs and the guy who owns the local package store has offered to barter wine for eggs. Five other people have offered to buy them from us.

They really are quite entertaining, so I’m including a video of them so you can see for yourself. I sound like a dork in the video, but that’s why I’m a writer and not a newscaster.

In other news, our garden is almost planted and it’s even bigger than last year. So far I’ve planted potatoes, radishes, lettuce, kale, peas, beans, beets, broccoli rabe and winter squash. I’m planning to plant tomatoes, cukes and fava beans this weekend.

Thanks for still stopping by even though I’ve been away creating a farmyard in my backyard. I’ll get back to sharing my cooking and recipes again real soon.


The Diva on a Diet said...

OMG, I could not love them more! Or actually, I could, if I met them, I'm sure. So excited for you! What a funny, cool and interesting undertaking. Congrats on the flock - I look forward to watching it grow!! :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This is so fun!! I love all those cute little chicks and to think you'll have your own fresh eggs in just a little time. I have a neighbor who raises chickens too - which I wrote about on my blog. Looking forward to see what you make with your first batch of eggs.

vanillasugarblog said...

LOL! You crack me up.
I love going to the feed store in west barn to see the baby chicks. They are already gone. : (
One year they had a type of hen that eats ticks; I thought how handy would that be in the summer?
Ok, now the Mom in me says, please keep them well protected from the coyotes and raccoons.

Alison said...

I'm so jealous! I've wanted some chickens for a long time now but we cannot keep them here. Maybe someday. :)

Congrats on your new arrivals!

Reeni said...

They are so cute!! It must be fun! My Mom has wanted chicks forever!

noble pig said...

I can hear them chirping from here!

Laurie said...

Thank you so much my foodie friends. You gals are my peeps!

Lo said...

OK -- I'm totally in love with your chicks.

I aspire to backyard chickens... and just as soon as I get a slightly bigger yard, I'm going to be all over that!

In the meantime, can I live vicariously?

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I would love to have chickens of my own! You're so lucky. I am fortunate enough to work with a man who supplies me with fresh eggs every week ($1 a dozen) can't beat that. Fresh eggs are wonderful. Good luck with your new babies!

Julie said...

My daughter loves the chicks! They're so cute :)

Donna-FFW said...

How fun is that! What an awesome experience. So exciting, good luck to you.

Leslie said...

Oh darling are those little chicks??!!!!!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Oh cute! I could almost give up eating meat if I had access to new laid eggs.

Ha Phi Thuong said...

wow! Your daughter is very pretty and lovely,

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