Saturday, May 22, 2010
GUILTY AS CHARGED: CHICKEN OBSESSED NOW!
HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! As this posting title suggest, yes I am guilty of becoming chicken obsessed now. I attended a "chicken swap" this morning here in Jackson, TN at my local Tractor Supply, meeting up with other members of the West TN Poultry Club and again, asking many questions and soaking up information like a sponge. While there, one of the originators of the local group had several birds for sale. He and his family had some ducks, baby chicks and some grown hens and roosters for sale. I hung around for a couple of hours and some folks from a local Chinese restaurant came over and purchased some grown birds and we jokingly commented that they were heading for the buffet and "today's special"!
When all was said and done and most everything else had been sold, I kept thinking about the one black and one white Cochin hens and one lovely Silky rooster that were left. The odd thing about that little rooster was he kept trying to crow but nothing came out. He kept trying and trying and still nothing. I often commented to the owners who were selling him that he is exactly what I needed here in the city as I cannot have a "noise violation" here. And after a few hours I could stand it no longer and brought the trio home here to the urban farm.
I worked them up into my old brooder cage, turning it upside down and letting the larger openings in the top become the bottom for ease of ground foraging and then added some layer crumbles, water founts, crushed oyster shells and some grit (crushed granite). I also cut up a left over milk crate, taking one side down a little with a jig saw, added some fresh wheat straw and put a shade top on it and fixed an area where my little dog, MAX, could not access them and scare them to death with his barking. My little chicks are used to him but these new arrivals were not and made a huge noise when he approached the cage.
Then what do you think happened about 2 or so hours after getting them set up and left alone? I when out to look at them again and finish up some other projects before my shower time and early dinner and the little black hen was up in the nest box. Then I went out about 30- minutes later and there was a small egg! I was elated. I left them alone about another 30-minutes and went out to get the egg and there was a 2nd egg as well - two eggs from two little hens in their first day here. I just could not believe it. I have taken some photos for your enjoyment and even put the little eggs beside a store bought "jumbo" egg for comparison. I think they are small pullets, even though some of my little pullets are almost that size so I am starting to think they are really Bantam Cochins. These eggs are really small and that is OK in itself. But the thrill I have had today here at the urban farm out weights any "egg-sizing" one would worry about any way! Look below for the new arrivals today.
The vegetable patch here at the urban farm continues to thrive and plants are growing and giving hope for a nice harvest of much produce. My neighbors are patiently waiting for eggplant, tomatoes, squash (yellow & zucchini), cucumbers, peppers (bell, sweet banana & hot) and then the other things I am planting over at the Jackson Community Garden site as well. That has yet to be planted due to many obstacles but hopefully I have gotten most of them fixed for now.
So I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation and invite you back to visit with me again: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"