It’s Time for a Meet and Greet

When you scramble your eggs in the morning, do you ever think about where they came from?  Do you wonder where those chickens live?  Are they happy?  Are they healthy?

I recently read an article that stated only one-third of children know where their food comes from.  Amazingly, the same article stated only one-third of adults know where their food comes from.  I found this so hard to believe.  I grew up in a small town, not really a rural town, but many people inside and outside the city limits grew chickens, beef, pigs and rabbits.

To eat.

People were always talking about their gardens.  It seemed everyone in the neighborhood had a garden and what one person didn’t grow, the other one did.  We ate fresh fruits and veggies from spring until fall.

From the backyard.

My great-grandmother, grandmother, mom and aunt were always canning something from the garden.  Then we would be able to enjoy the garden all winter, too.   I knew where my food came from and foolishly thought everyone else did, too.

So, today, we are going to meet some food.

For those of you that buy my eggs, I would like to introduce you to the girls in the coop.

The girls came to live with us in April of 2013.  They were nine, chirping,  fluff balls of chicken cuteness:  3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Black Australorps, and 3 Cherry Eggers.

chickens

They live in a nice home with a roomy backyard.

chicken coop in fall

When they were around 5 months old, we had our first egg.

Our first egg!

Our first egg!

Our granddaughter was visiting and was so excited she carried the egg around all weekend.

hallie and her egg

A few months later, I bought 3 more Buff Orpingtons  to add to the mix.

Chickens really do have their own personality.  The leader of this pack was named Peaches by my granddaughter.

Peaches is a Buff Orpington.  Buffs are a dual purpose breed meaning they are raised for eggs and meat.  They are a large bird, winter hardy, and very friendly, often running to me when I go check on them.  I am raising them for eggs and they should average about 280 brown eggs a year.

chickens

Peaches, the curious chicken

Peaches favorite activities include leisurely dust baths in the sunshine, chasing and eating bugs, and playing with our dog, Annie.

annie, chickens

The newer, somewhat younger Buffs I acquired were immediately and collectively named “The Party Girls”

chickens

When everyone else is headed back to the coop for the evening, these girls are still out and about pushing the limits.  They are ALWAYS the last ones in the coop for the night and more than once I’ve had to be the Chicken Police and haul them back home.

The black chickens are called Australorps.

chickens

Australorps are a calm, almost shy, dual purpose breed. They can get large like the Buffs and are said to lay around 250 brown eggs a year.

The Cherry Eggers are a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire.

chickens, pumpkins

It is said they are the best winter layers and average 275-300 brown eggs a year.  And, although they are not overly friendly, they are great foragers (which translates to great bug eaters).  So far they have not been persuaded by the Party Girls to join their “Chickens Gone Wild” campaign.

So there you have it.  The chickens that give you the eggs that make up your breakfast.

chickens

I hope you have a sunny side up kind of day.

Brenda

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About Brenda Embry

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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23 Responses to It’s Time for a Meet and Greet

  1. Linda Apple says:

    I love your blog and can tell we are definitely kindred spirits! We have a high tunnel green house, getting into hydroponics, raise chickens (for eggs and friendship. I call them my fr’hens) and rabbits (to eat)

    Looking forward to more of your posts! :)

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  2. Becky says:

    What a lovely post! We used to have chickens, Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds, and I loved the huge, fresh brown eggs. Your buffs are very pretty girls, but I will always love Barred Rocks best, with their black-and-white lacy panties. :o) We are given all the eggs we can consume by my nephew and his family, who live down the road from us. They have a mixed flock of mostly free-range hens, and the eggs are some of the best I’ve ever had. They even have a few of the hens who lay green- and blue-shelled eggs, Auracanias, I think? All of their eggs are so large they barely fit into egg cartons, and they have the gorgeous bright-yellow yolks that you only get when the hens are allowed to eat al fresco.

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  3. Hi! We’ve had lots of trials with our hennies, but the set we have now is only six Buff Orpingtons. Lots of attrition around here. Love the friendliness of the Buffs. Each year I plan to make friends, but each year, gardening eats up my play time. They do talk to me as I approach the hen house and love to check if I have treats for them or not. :)
    It surely has been a trick to keep their water liquid this winter!

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  4. We went to Tractor Supply and bought a heater made for the hen waterers to sit on. It is thermostatically controlled and kicks on when it is at freezing temps. I am sure all farm stores have these heaters. They are fabulous!

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  5. I was so happy to meet your chickens. I love chickens.

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  6. I really enjoyed getting introduced to your chickens…I grew up in rural America in a time long ago when everyone had a garden or didn’t eat well, a time when even those who lived in the city raised chickens. I remember those times fondly and I see that it is coming around again.

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    • It almost has to come around to that again. The area I live in is predominately chicken farms (home of Tyson Foods). These chicken houses are heated with propane and with propane almost $5 gallon, these farmers are refusing chickens or sending them back. They have to keep the houses at 90 degrees and can’t afford a $2000/ week propane bill. So glad I will be raising my own this spring!

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  7. Mags Corner says:

    Your chickens are just gorgeous! I wish we lived near enough to you I could buy eggs from you. I miss fresh eggs so much. Hugs

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  8. Great post! I love the “party girls.”

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  9. Brenda I love this…I wish I lived nearby as I would love to buy your eggs…

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  10. Peter/Outlaw says:

    What a wonderful post! Chickens are such fun animals! My mother was raised on a farm so I knew where our food came from even though in small town Alaska, most of it came from a little airplane or a ship, although we usually had a freezer full of moose meat. Family farms are wonderful but the industrialized raising of animals in horrible conditions makes me sad for the way the animals are treated. Fortunately there are still a few great family farms in our area!

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  11. Pingback: We Love Orpington Chickens | NorDogs NorAcres Orpington Chickens

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