Monday, October 1, 2012


Chickens.  Chickens???

Why would anyone care about chickens? 

If you don't have them, chicken is a meat often found frozen at your local store, already taken care of and in it's respective pieces - not much thought needed, except for what else you need at the store to cook said chicken.

If you have them, the birds, that is, chickens are a whole topic on to itself.

Really??? you might ask. 


We were lucky enough to get 9 hens and 2 roosters from our neighbor, who is the process of slowly getting rid of all his animals.  So, beggars (us) can't be choosers.  You take what you can get (for free!) and make it work.

This, of course, was another situation of us getting animals and then building fence, and it is pretty sorry fence. (Good thing the birds were used to being in fence and respect our chicken wire that doesn't always hit the ground and is tied to the fence posts with baler twine!)

And because it's Autumn, greatest time in the world to worry about how you're going to get water someplace all winter.  Not!  Of course we were happy to get free chickens, even if some of them look older than dirt.

When we got the chickens, we were getting about 3 eggs a day - which with older birds, heading into the darkest time of the year, was not too shabby.

Then, life changed.  Another neighbor had too many chickens and didn't want to butcher any of her birds, so asked if we wanted some.

Sure!  More (free) chickens.  Of course, we'll take them!

These 5 hens have proven to be much more trouble than they are worth, especially as skinny, egg-laying chickens.  Thes little bas...... buggers are EGG EATERS!  We went from 3 lovely brown-shelled eggs a day, down to maybe 1.

The nice neighbor neglected to tell us that she THOUGHT she had some egg eaters.  There should be some sort of recourse for knowingly giving away...wait, there is that little matter of free and giving away...  Sigh.

The only recourse we have is to butcher those little buggers before they teach this HORRIBLE habit to any of the other birds.

So, we butchered two birds the weekend before this one.  Hoping that we had managed to catch the culprits.

Alas.  It was not to be true.  So, this next weekend, we're going to have to take care of the other three.

To top it off, these darn birds are not meant for meat, so had very little to give up.  I gave one to the neighbor for him to make soup and I roasted the other one, pulled all the meat and cut it up fine - it was tough!, and cooked the carcass with veggies for a great stock.

I guess even miserable little egg-eating chickens have a place.  The smile I get when I think about it, is when I realize that the best place for them is my freezer!

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