The only animal on our homestead that we raised prior to living here was a chicken (and a dog, but if you know our dog he doesn’t really count). Our chicken endeavors have been more than traumatic to all of us, and definitely not the idyllic experience you believe will occur when you see some adorable coop on Pinterest. Please do let those beautiful coops inspire you though. Chickens are a true joy and one of the easiest endeavors in to knowing where your food comes from.
In preparing for the homestead move we knew that we would need at least a dozen layers in order to keep a steady supply of eggs handy. Feeding a family of ten is no small task. When an opportunity to add a few birds to the flock became a reality, I never even asked specific questions, I just planned the pick up and headed over to my friend’s farm. Of the four birds we got, one was a rooster. With minimal hesitation this new creature came home and the reality of my decision sank in. For our non chicken owners, it is possible to have an all female flock. Those girls will lay eggs almost daily, there’s just no fertilization that has occurred, in other words, no baby chickens. Hubby and I resolved through the consequences of the decision and decided to keep this new young boy who very quickly showed us what his intention in life was.
As the weeks have passed we have grown fond of him. He’s big, loud, and sleeps in the tree instead of the coop, but his purpose is definite. He knows his lot in life and he revels in it. It’s a beautiful process to witness. Sometime in the future one of the girls will go broody and we’ll let her sit and fulfill another purpose too. The life cycle process will most likely be filled with joy and sadness as we watch nature take it’s course. Sometimes you find yourself in a circumstance that is not where you intended. It is here that you have choices, decisions that can continue or redirect the course. We weighed the outcome, we know the end result, and we won’t wake up one day and say “How’d I end up with 50 chickens?!” Our decision is mindful and aware. We know that when the chickens start hatching next spring it will be the result of a rainy September night…the night I decided to bring home our boy named Sue.