Chickens. I remember when I was a kid. My great uncle had a HUGE chicken house, the kind with rows and rows of chickens in cages, with a horrible stench and feathers everywhere. One year, a tornado came through, and it was nothing but horrible stench and feathers everywhere. Maybe some of them got free!
And now, there is the movement toward homesteading. Books about turning your neighborhood house into a mini homestead are everywhere. And you can’t look for any information about gardening and urban homesteading without hearing about chickens! It is a growing fad, somewhat like the Victory Garden was a while back. But the term “fad” has a negative, temporary connotation. This isn’t a temporary movement. Like the Victory Garden, backyard chickens are here to stay. They just make sense.
Have you ever tasted an egg from a real live chicken? Go ahead, laugh. I know that all chicken eggs come from real live chickens. But you know what I mean. Eggs that have never been refrigerated. Eggs that come straight from the chicken to the kitchen, to your plate, to your taste buds, to your belly. My first known experience with fresh eggs (not sure if I ever had such as a kid) was while staying in an earthship in Taos, NM. If you are not familiar with earthships, they are worth the time to peruse the website. Sustainability. A kinship with the earth. Simplicity or great complexity, it is your choice. Nonetheless, staying in an earthship with chickens in a little mini earthship-like structure in the yard was my first experience with straight-from-the-chicken eggs. Amazing!
The yokes are more firm, and a richer orange if the chickens have had the chance to eat greens from the yard. A warm egg cooks up perfectly. The shells are thinner; the whites release from the side of the shell without any convincing. Absolutely delicious. Backyard chickens can give you a relatively unlimited supply. I wish for that kind of beginning to everyday!
So, chickens. On this little farm, there is a chicken coop. Now, the coop hasn’t been used for several years, and until a couple of weeks ago was buried in a blackberry bramble. You know the story of Brer Rabbit, how he goes into the brambles? I’ve never had an appreciation for what that meant. But now, wow. How did he manage in there?
On a side note, I saw a bunny escape from our dog into the blackberry brambles the other day. They must know a secret!
David has spent hours clearing the brambles to get to the chicken coop. He’s now getting ready to replace the roof, and clear more brambles. A little bit of new chicken wire, roosting boxes, and an education on the care of chickens, and we’ll be ready to go.
Then, the perfect eggs.
Until we are ready, we’re buying eggs from a little farm down the road. Not still warm, but still fresh. Nearly perfect.