Just this weekend we were really contemplating ending the chicken experiment early…looking up fried chicken recipes, if you catch my drift. Our lone hen must have overhead our rumbling stomachs, because this week we found a single egg sitting in the coop!
Safe for another week.
This story actually begins, not with the chicken, but with a set of eggs we ordered online. Did you know you can order chicks through the mail?
We talked about getting chickens for the farm from day one, since the previous owner had already set up a coop for his racing pigeons. I have to hand it to my mother-in-law for taking on the daunting task of cleaning out the pigeon coop with a pressure washer, since I was pregnant and didn’t want to get anywhere near it.
The state fair had a lot of interesting-looking chickens, like Silkies, but we wanted birds that were good for eggs and meat.
My sister bought me Raising Chickens for Dummies, so we could research what breed to raise. Most of our farm animals have European heritage, but we decided to go for Plymouth Barred Rocks, which are an old American dual-purpose breed that is docile and good for free ranging.
We ordered 7 PBR eggs, and they arrived packed in foam. We transferred them to our incubator and followed the directions on keeping them humid and turned.
April Fools was coming up when we saw an opportunity to prank our family. The local tractor supply store had chicks on sale, buy 2 get 1 free. We bought a few chicks to integrate with the eggs to make it seem like some of the eggs were twins!
Unfortunately, after days and days of waiting for a spark of life from within the eggs…nothing happened. But now we were already committed to the live chicks, which were hanging out in a cardboard box inside our house.
The day before I went into labor I caught one of the chickens perched on the edge of the cardboard box, contemplating an escape. While we were at the hospital, Holly had the fun task of moving these chicks into the permanent coop and figuring out how to fill their water and feeder over text message.
You may have noticed from the first photo of the chickens that we somehow ended up with 2 roosters. Recently, one of the roosters wandered outside of the coop in an enclosed area and mysteriously died. We’re not sure if it was the other rooster or a predator that did him in.
Either way, the hen must have been feeling some pressure to perform and popped out an egg with 2 yolks. It was creamy and delicious.
The chicken and crowing rooster can stay in the coop and make free food…for now…mwahahaha. In all seriousness, I don’t know what I’m going to do if we decide to eat one of them, but I’ll save that for another post.