the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

Suburban mini farming.

on October 4, 2012

Maybe mini farming isn’t quite the right term, after all there is no cow or goat yet. We have plenty animals though. Let’s see we have six five cats, one went to have a spoilt life as my mother’s only feline. Of those there are three full blooded Siamese cats, an old rescue cat and a little vagabond girl cat who stole our hearts and moved in years ago. My wife has a bird, Alex, who was a gift for Lou’s 6th birthday but Lou lost interest and my wife adopted the bird. There are three teeny tiny red-eared slider turtles I paid twelve dollars for the lot over the summer. One for Lou (named Norris,) one for Mavis (named Pod,) and one for my nephew (sorry, idk his name.) After a few weeks of near death in one of those island shaped turtle worlds my nephew’s turtle came to live with us. One resident dog, Wiley, a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Cur (that’s the state dog down here) who came as a three week foster and wound up my best friend. It’s not quite a farm, yet. The final bird friends live out in the back yard, the last two of a flock that never got bigger than four at a time, our chickens Dawn and Buffy.

That’s right, backyard chickens. If you ever read a post that mentions yard eggs, they literally come from my yard. Yard eggs, or I guess any egg laid by a happy chicken who is allowed to supplement their diet with bugs and worms (I try not to think of that when busting an egg into my baking or making an omelet, I try instead to focus on the fact that you can literally taste the sun and that the baking cooks up fluffier and moister. ) are so ridiculously better tasting that store bought eggs. If eggs alone were our only reason for having the chickens it wouldn’t really be worth it. Not the way we go through eggs. On a normal day I send two to three boiled eggs off with my wife (they pack easily and are amazing little protein pods of energy for a long day) and I scramble three to split between the girls, and sometimes I use the white of two for my breakfast. So the average day here includes at least five eggs, the average high producing chicken lays 4-5 in the summer and 3-4 in the winter with the highest count between 3-4 years old. Currently our youngest chicken is 3 years old, she is an average layer so she yields 4 eggs a week. Our oldest is near seven, if not over that, and still lays (because we take amazing care of her) 1-2 a week. If you did the math then you are ahead of the class, if not this is the point I was making: we would need some odd seven or eight chickens to go off the consumer egg grid. One day I hope to have a dozen, for now (living in a neighborhood with people mere yards from ours) that is not a possibility. The noise and smell would be too much for us, let alone our neighbors.

There have been other amazing aspects of having these ladies in our lives. It helps teach the kids that food comes from somewhere and has led to many conversations about reducing, reusing, and recycling as we talk about our earth and its resources. The kids adore being able to care for an animal and having that turn into a tangible reward (well kept chickens equals eggs.) They have personalities and some were a true joy to know. Dawn, one of our original three, is the sweetest bird. She enjoys company, will let you scratch her, likes to take grapes from your hand and will meander behind you as you walk around the yard. We’ve been lucky enough to have a chicken, Kaitlyn, have the urge to mother. So I bought her some fertile eggs (from eBay of all places) and she sat on them. The kids and I kept a calendar and waited while we learned all about what was going on inside the eggs and how it was different from the ones we ate! When the eggs hatched we lost four babies and had two, it was a lesson on life and how things work out.

We have so many, and at times it seems to much, but each is loved and well cared for. I feel like it was evident when hurricane Isaac came through. We evacuated to my mother’s house (thanks mom, for opening your home to our zoo) and it only to a few hours for all of the animals to return to normal. They trust us, so the trusted they were safe where ever we would take them. The cats and dog and bird were all so relaxed, but above all the proof was in the chicken. We had taken them and set them up in the grass in a large wire dog crate with the bottom removed. At a time when they should have been at the height of stress our girls still laid! That is a statement if ever there was one. (I wanted to note that we took the turtles too, no animal left behind. It’s just that since they live in a little world inside their tank it’s not like they new we moved the universe.)


One response to “Suburban mini farming.

  1. Corrin says:

    Don’t know how you do it. I feel guilty not spending enough time and attention on my one spoiled cat. Maybe its like kids, with a bunch they can entertain themselves…

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