Or in this case, eggs. My latest experiment in backyard husbandry: take a non-egglaying, eggbox hogging, cranky broody hen and give her her own eggbox in her own cage with 12 gorgeous, fresh laid, rainbow colored fertile eggs. Three weeks later…. 9 adorable chicks, two unhatched duds, and one missing egg. Guess I can’t begrudge Whitey Chicken a high protein snack to tide her through three weeks of clutch setting….
She did a dang good job overall, only pooped in the nest box once (pretty sure it was by accident), and hardly ate or drank for 21 days. Currently she is busy keeping those chicks warm and safe (from me). The chicks will be mutts, but come from a very happy and healthy multicultural egg laying community out in Gaston, at Big Table Farm (Thanks Clare)! Whitey is a mutt herself, a mix of Auraucana and Silkie, the Silkie is where she gets her good mothering instincts. The best part? No lights, no worrying about fluctuating temperatures in the greenhouse, I provide food, water and clean housing, and Whitey will take care of her brood until they can fend for themselves.
So this post is a good example of what I want to pursue, food self sufficiency, animal husbandry, vegetable and fruit gardening, beekeeping (and added to the menagerie just today, meat rabbits!), good local eating, my overall love for life and culture in the Pacific Northwest, and the long term goal of a farm of my own. Wish me luck!