This move is great in that we get a bit of a bigger house (and you'll remember that we were just lolling about free ranging in our 950 square feet previously) and have acquired something like an extra 200 or 300 square feet more. This, unfortunately, did not come in the way of having my own bathroom, but the dining room is a freaking paradise that I can do cartwheels in. I'll take it. And mad props to all of you who over the last twelve years sat with us smashed to the walls in our previous dining room. It was cozy and we loved it, but now you just won't have to sit in my lap while eating your mashed potatoes. (You still can if you want to, I'm just saying you don't have to.)
This move has also granted us something I've been wishing and hoping and dreaming for - more property and some chickens. Yes, that's right, I'm officially an urban (? perhaps suburban?) farmer. We have 5 adult hens that came with the house who lay delicious eggs at a rate of about 3 daily (unfortunately for us, we eat 6 eggs a day around here...) - and might I add, if you thought I had food snobbery issues previously, it is at an all time high for eggs now with the advent of walking to my backyard to a coop and pulling out a freshly laid egg under the sassy, happy chickens.
These layers are old (in terms of chicken life) - they're 4 or 5 years old. We knew that they will not be able to lay eggs forever, so we went down to the country feed store and ordered 8 baby chicks (if you'd like to know deets: I have 4 Isa Browns, 3 Rhode Island Reds, and 1 Aracauna - the Aracauna and one of the Reds are my favorites.).
Right now these little girls are living in a box in my kitchen under a heat lamp. They provide hours of entertainment for us and the German Shepherd dog. It sounds like I have tweety birds in my house nearly 24 hours a day. The also provide lots of poop. That's not so fun, but I guess it comes with the territory. (Their poop pales in comparison with what the hens out in the coop can do, though. And those girls ain't got nothing on my EPI diseased dog. If you need manure...)
One thing I did not really know (or experience, I guess I should say) was how terrified chickens really are. You know how back in the day kids would cluck at other kids and call them a chicken when they wouldn't take a dare or do something...well, they got that from real chickens, yes, it's true. Chickens are the most fraidy-cat things I've ever seen. When I reach over the edge of their box to give them a fresh batch of water or feed, they run and peep like I was weilding the Almighty Hand of Certain Death at them. Have I ever, ever, ever done anything to you? Have I not always held you gently with two hands and treated you like you were made of porcelain? Do I not relentlessly care for you and your poopy ways? Yeah, that piece of grass in the middle of the box that I put in for you is probably an atomic bomb, you're right.
The house is on an acre which means hubby can go out there and shoot his bow and arrow much farther than he was able to do which makes him crazy happy. It also has a riding tractor lawn mower, which makes kid #1 think he died and went to heaven. I have a view out of my bedroom to a pond with a fountain and as we're up on a hill, I can see 2 miles away to a water tower ball (I know that for all of you who live on property and can see far away that you are wondering what on earth I would care about this for, but my farthest view before this was to a row of houses across the street. It's crazy how cool it is.). There's a giganto fire pit that I can make blazing infernos in and I can see the stars when I go out at night. It all sounds like I am bragging, but my aim is to tell you that I'm thankful and I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to be here in this place.
I will be putting in the garden soon and getting the veggies going for the season, and then I'll really feel like a farmer (I'll wear my cowboy hat and boots to make it work even better...probably should get some overalls, though, too.). It's a great feeling. If you want to tour Daisy Farm and you're local, just let me know. We sell refreshing kombucha and water kefir and make our own mayo (with eggs from the backyard hens). It's your one stop entertainment center, as you can see. As for now, I need to go tear up some ground.
Peace, love, and chicken poo,