We are travelers of the roads less traveled. Stewards, friends, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, siblings, care-takers, farmers, entrepreneurs, ministers, watchers, do-ers, helpers, teachers, students.
Our love of poultry (and FRESH eggs!) got started by accident. It started with a love of gardening and totes of chicken manure.
Most of us eat chicken but few understand how chickens are raised. In the commercial chicken world, once the chickens are hauled off to be processed, the huge chicken coop has to be cleaned of all the chicken waste (shavings, poo, etc.) and the rejected chickens.
We took a few loads of manure to our garden but my heart broke knowing runts were left behind (to die). So we put some in our totes and took them to their new home. The hens at 2 months old were still bigger than our full size heritage breeds. Many people assume it is due to GMO feed or steroids but it is just due to breeding. They were bred to be bigger, faster. The meat is more tender and juicy but it also cheaper this way.
These “rescued” runts got us curious about “real”chickens. So we started buying various chickens trying to find which breeds we liked best for size, personality, egg laying frequency, coloring (of bird and egg), ability to forage, temperament, etc.
In our quest to find, and even breed, our favorites, we have had more eggs (and chickens) than we knew what to do with at times – all because you Must buy more chickens than you want to have in the end. You never know how many will be roosters (even if they promise hens). Nor do you know how many just won’t make it, for whatever reason. You also never know when a hen will start laying. It can be as early as 4 months, but some can take 10 months. Hens won’t lay well if it is too hot, if they get startled, if it is winter (due to lack of sunshine), etc. Hens stop laying and go broody too. Even when they do lay you never know if they will lay small eggs forever, or if they will get bigger as the bird ages. Getting eggs isn’t as simple as it seems.
Ultimately, I don’t know that we could ever go back to store bought eggs again, therefore we will continue raising our chickens and sharing the excess as long as we can.