While I am still paying off the people who helped build the Moop for me with free eggs, I am getting about a dozen a day and have started selling some. It is nice to have a few pennies in my pocket to begin to defray the investment in my poultry business.
I shudder to think how much I have spent to get this flock going, and how many chicks I bought to get to my current flock. I was also given nine "hens." It seems three of those are most definitely roosters, and I know they need to go into the pot. Once the weather warms up and they get frisky, it will be a disaster to have five roosters here.
I have reconciled myself to knowing (and having kissed) the bearer of the beef in my freezer. But the chickens - I have gotten to love the little critters so much. In fact, I find myself eating poultry less often. When I go through the subject matter of my blogs, it is the chickens who reign supreme. Maybe it is because they talk to me. I am a very verbal person, and I talk back to them. I go out there three times a day - in the morning to let them out, at which time the boys are crowing even on the dullest day. They are all quite excited to be breaking their fast. Mmmm!! Three troughs full of fresh chicken feed!! Mmmm!! Fresh water!! So much clucking and scurrying about.
In the early afternoon, I go out and pick up eggs (have to take an egg carton with me now, too many for pockets). They seem to be telling me how they've been spending their day. With snow on the ground, they will be hanging around the Moop, although those Campines are often in the woods seeing what they can find. They are great little foragers, and are noted for being one of the best feed-to-egg converters out there. I check their food and switch out their waterers. I'll bring in the one they have been working on to fill with fresh water when I go out for the third time - to button them up for the night.
At night, the conversation is completely different. They go from chattering to cooing, such soft little sounds. One of the Buff Orpingtons that was a gift is rather mean. She yells at me, and if I get close, I'm in for a peck or two. She is often sitting on the bar that has to go up to keep them from going into the nests at night, and moving her is a trial. But I put up with her. She is one of my girls.
I always sing a short song to them before putting down the lid on the back of the Moop. No matter how much clucking or cooing was going on, when I start to sing there is total silence. Then I slowly lower the lid, call out "Good night" and call it a day.
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms says that every house should have a chicken coop attached with a couple of chickens. I agree. It's the road to world peace.