Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: The Girls.

I bet you thought I'd turned The Girls into "dinner", didn't you? I was tempted. They are pretty decent size these days!
Last time I spoke of these lovely ladies I was a bit perturbed. And disenchanted.
In researching chickens I had read that they were destructive...but I had NO IDEA. When people say, "Chickens have a tendency to damage a garden." they mean, "CHICKENS WILL DESTROY YOUR GARDEN IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. AND GOOD!"
I will also say, at first, I thought chickens weren't the sharpest tool in the shed. The smartest animal on the farm. The prettiest crayon in the box. observing these little trouble makers, I've changed my mind. I am convinced that their little brains are very advanced. Small? Yes. But very, very advanced.
Our garden is so rigged with pieces of wood, scraps of chicken wire, patio chairs, bricks, troughs, flower pots, I forgetting anything? Holy cow! If there is a way into that garden...The Girls are going to FIND it. Chris caught one on the deck, standing on the hose reel box, with her head cocked sideways assessing if her fluffy butt could fit through the deck railing at that angle! Crafty, she is. Very crafty.
Because of this....they no longer get free reign. I'm sorry. It's just the way it's got to be. I feel kind of bad because when I go outside to their coop they pace and scratch at the fencing like they're crazed and NEED to get out. And then I feel bad. (Not only are they very smart, they're also manipulative!) But I have to remind myself that they're not confined in a cage too small to stand or stretch. They're not crammed in a tiny cage with 74 other chickens. They get fresh air and sunshine. They get scraps fresh from our table...and lots of them! They've got it pretty darn good as far as a chicken is concerned.
And I guess they're not all that mad at me. So far this month they've given us 22 eggs...which averages to two eggs a day. Not bad. Considering during the summer months they were averaging three eggs a day. It hasn't been too cold here, production may continue to decrease...but so far, so good!


WhiteStone said...

I was wondering when "dinner" might entee the picture. Every spring my mother purchased 100-200 chicks. The roosters became dinner first. All except 2 or 3. The hens all became dinner sooner or later. Usually before the next year's chicks were of laying size. I can butcher a chicken quicker than the wink of an eye. The product of growing up on an Iowa farm.

Beegirl said...

I am still getting 4 a day here... hmmm...
Sorry to hear the ladies are killing your garden. Lois was eyeing up the lettuce in the cold frame today, but decided my BOOT looked like a better option.

Anonymous said...

mine will not be free ranging as much come next spring. And, trust me - mine do that same pacing around like trapped zoo animals the minute I go outside. darn them! I love their eggs but don't love the mess anymore.

The Cottage Comtesse said...

They're probably just pacing because they want to know what new treat you've brought them from the kitchen. They are greedy little girls, but I love them! (so don't feel too bad!)

Your hens look lovely, by the way! I never tire of looking at chickens.

Nancy said...

I think your girls have a pretty good life and they know it. Like all children they're just testing the limits.
Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for chili relenos which looks pretty tasty if you need to use some eggs.

It's me ...Mavis said...

If there's a snow storm again this year and I can't get to the store and the chickens are looking a little lethargic I may turn mine into pot pies... on a happier note... I'm still getting 3 to 4 eggs a day from my 4 hens.... I thought they'd be slowing down by now with the colder weather.

Kelly said...

Can't say I blame you, those calculating cluckers! ;)

Let me ask you this, how do they SMELL? That is my biggest concern.