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.
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.
They live in a nice home with a roomy backyard.
When they were around 5 months old, we had our first egg.
Our granddaughter was visiting and was so excited she carried the egg around all weekend.
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.
Peaches favorite activities include leisurely dust baths in the sunshine, chasing and eating bugs, and playing with our dog, Annie.
The newer, somewhat younger Buffs I acquired were immediately and collectively named “The Party Girls”
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.
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.
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.
I hope you have a sunny side up kind of day.