Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chicken Husbandry 101

My friend Pam thinks chicken's are funny and asked for some photos. So, welcome to our "farm".

We primarily have Barred Plymouth Rocks like the ones below. However, over time we have acquired a black orphan hen from some neighbors who moved and just left him, I mean her (thanks Big Buckaroo), and a few others that are a rust color. There is a little bit of chicken profiling that goes on, the rust ones get picked on a lot by the Barred Rocks. It's just a chicken eat chicken world sometimes.

We do not name our chickens, the laying hens nor meat chickens. If we started that, the buckaroos would want to name all the chickens that come through this place. Can you imagine them trying to name the 50 meat chickens we run in each batch? When they are little, they are fast, it is hard to just keep them counted in the chicken pen, so naming them would be pointless. Plus, when they first arrive (for you city folks, you order them and they come right to your post office for you to pick them up) they are very small and I don't know if they are male or female. I am The Park Wife, not the Chicken Lady for goodness sakes.

At dinner I would have to say, "alright boys, let's thank God for the food, especially Candace who in her 6 weeks with us became tender and juicy." I am sure that would be a good lesson for the boys about where food really comes from, but I think they got it the first time they watched slaughter day out the window. After watching the scalder and plucker, there is not really any question about what is happening.

When we first moved here we had two of the Parks oxen in our pasture, they never did real well pulling the surrey and were preparing to be sent "out to pasture". Little Buckaroo wanted to name them (I am sure they already had names) so I suggested Ham and Burger. He went along with it, it was my own funny little joke when he was calling them. He was only 2 1/2 so he did not get my warped humor.

These are some very happy chickens, so no need for PETA to hedge a campaign against The Park Wife for animal cruelty. They get to live their days finding bugs, eating grass, chicken feed and my kitchen scraps. All we ask is for a few eggs in return. It is a very symbiotic relationship. (symbiotic, big word, hey that Southern Miss education is paying off)

This is our second rooster, the first one was very mean so we gave him away. He also must have been blind as he crowed all during the night. I REALLY questioned the whole chicken husbandry idea during the "mean rooster's" reign.

I know, this is not a chicken, but look at that sweet beak. He came to the backdoor with a flower for me yesterday. After he gave it to me, he said, "I'm dirty mommy". Ya think?

I better go make the boys some fresh eggs for breakfast.

Until tomorrow, cock-a-doodle-do,
The Park Wife


Pam said...

I LOVE THIS POST! Thank you :)
I have all of one nice chicken pictures :( It's a rooster that was wondering around Luckenbach, Texas when we were there. I just said to W. the other day when we saw some chicken along the road, "I think I need more chicken pictures!" He laughed. I will post my rooster picture in YOUR honor today, since you posted chickens in mine. We have a symbiotic blog relationship don't we!!! Thanks for capturing chicken pictures just for me, that is true friendship!
Oh, and the eating Candance part, you have no clue how hard I laughed.

Pam said...

Chicken post up :)

OKGardners said...

Your chickens could win a photo contest. They are THAT pretty! I love them!

I loved your Candace story, too, and the Ham & Burger story as well. You are TOO funny.

I used to tell people I was going to take Carol Burnett's place when she retired, but then I decided not to. ha ha!

Betty in Oklahoma

Shirley said...

Your chickens remind me of the ones we had when I was a kid. My brother and I used to have to pull grass from our yard to feed the chickens. And I always hated the roosters, but now I think they are gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

That's the most adorable "chicken" I've ever seen!! Great shirt too...whoever got that for him must be super cool (figured a little self flattery wouldn't hurt :O) haha....) Love ya'll!!

Valarie said...

My sister had some chickens like that, I think.

My Dad was a rural mail carrier and I can remember him stopping by the house and his mail car was full of baby chickens.

Renee in Seattle said...

So, you're set for Easter eggs, then?

fairygodmother said...

I agree with boozefairy in the "cutest chicken" category, littlest wins hands down...please don't get me in trouble with little buck by telling him I said that...He is still my little angel!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I really enjoyed your chicken post. We had chickens for years, but for the time being we are chickenless. I didn't want to find someone to feed them and gather their eggs while we go out of town for summer vacation. I haven't been by in awhile. Been busy with my Mom. Chicken post was a breath of fresh air.~~Dee

Flying Squirrel Fan said...

Next time you order chicks you should throw in a couple Aracona (not sure how you spell it). They lay blue and green eggs, already set for easter! The boys would get a kick out of gathering those (and although not as big as some they are quite tasty!).

Jessica said...

Years ago I had the rust colored chickens. I loved them. I also love the barred rock. The hens look so plump and pretty. Or should I say tastey:)

I would love to have some now but we are afraid they would just bring on neighbors dogs.