"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Best Laid Plans or Seven Birds and a Cat

The big difference between Mrs. H and I is that she's a "spur of the moment" kind of gal and I am a "let's take a year to think about it" type of guy. For example, a couple weeks ago she hollered at me from the other room -

"Guess what I found on Craigslist?"

"What?" I shouted back

"Chickens," she called out, walking into the kitchen. "Young ones too, and they're orangish colored."

"Orangish?" I inquired, rolling my eyes. "Hmm, I wonder what breed that could be?"

"It doesn't matter, there's no time because their FREE!" she exclaimed in a slightly elevated tone.

"Why are they free?" was my skeptical counter.

With a slight look of disgust, she replied "Who knows, but if I don't respond right this minute they will be GONE! FREE, did you hear me, they're FREEEEE!!"

And with a deep sigh, I conceded "Yes dear, if it makes you happy we can go look at them" and so she called the phone number, and so we went and looked, and thus it was that we eventually acquired a few new laying hens.

Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard one plans and schemes the Gods of Chaos will prevail. I had it all worked out in my structured little mind and once again she proceeded to challenge my boundaries. The plan was to pick and order new hens from the below listed birds that I had thoroughly researched and decided on. The 6-10 new additions, based on cold hardiness, egg laying abilities, size, temperament, and recommendations from other bloggers who raise chickens in colder climates were to be chosen, if available, out of the following breeds;
Ameraucana
Australorp
Buff Orpington
Chantecler
Delaware
Plymouth Rock
Red Star
Rhode Island Reds
Sussex
Wyandotte
Cochin
Russian Orloff

But no! The word "free" is like a drug to my wife and we have now been gifted with many new additions to our motley crew of laying hens. The newest hens supposedly range in age from 6 months to just over a year old and were offered on Craigslist because the owners could no longer care for them and were willing to part with the birds for free under the conditions that we provide a good home and not use their pets as stewing hens...only two of them were "orangish" colored and there were really 7 hens not 6 as the ad suggested.:) And so now we have;

Two small scrappy white Leghorns that I just adore. I would have never considered this breed but am so happy to have been talked into them as they are the neatest, busy, smartest little birds I ever did see. One of them even laid two eggs the day before yesterday...that was a surprise but apparently possible upon occasion.

A lone Red Star, such a sweet, friendly, very curious little bird, and quite smitten with our dog Rowdy whom she no doubt thinks is a rooster...he is a pretty cocky little fellow after all.

Two Buff Orpingtons, that, like the Red Star, were at least on my original list. They seem to be great birds and immediately honed in on the nest boxes and laid us a couple eggs.

And two more scraggly looking Rhode Island Reds that are as cockeyed crazy as my originals but should be a nice addition to our flock that now numbers 16.

That Mrs. H, she does like her deals and because of it we now have a larger flock that has meshed together without incident allowing us to avoid the challenge of raising baby chicks this spring. Luckily, the new gang of hens has been very submissive to our originals and no serious squabbling has taken place. The new birds are very happy as their old digs left much to be desired. The weather was nice enough the other day that they even ventured outside for a while, their first taste of freedom no doubt. Unfortunately, today's colder weather has somewhat tempered their enthusiasm for the great outdoors.

Oh, and my good wife found this half starved cat in our barn this winter too...it is sitting on my lap begging for attention as I try to type this...Ay yi yi. Meet Nikita Katerina (right), master of her domain and proprietor of the chair pictured below. She was spayed yesterday so everyone is being extra nice to her, even Spooky, our grumpy old orangish colored cat.:)

It's kind of a strange system that Mrs. H has put in place here, and one that always leaves me scratching my head wondering what the heck I just got myself into...and I wouldn't change a thing.:) As they say "Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy.

71 comments:

el said...

My daughter and I are big fans of the tv version of All Creatures Great and Small, and in the second season the main vet remarks to James (the narrator) that good wives have much in common with herding dogs: a nip here, a nudge there, and they do a fine job of molding their charges. Hah!

Good work on avoiding the Chick Season! And probably my begrudgingly favorite chicken is my lone Leghorn Pauline. She gets in SO much trouble!

Granola Girl said...

...she's a "spur of the moment" kind of gal and I am a "let's take a year to think about it" type of guy.

Oh goodness that is completely Jules and I. I drive him a bit batty and sometimes he calls me 'crazy wench' :) I personally believe everything works out just fine, much like your chickens. He might have a slightly different story on that one.

You are a very good husband for allowing your wife to bring things into your house because they are free and "orangish."

Julie said...

Mrs. H's wisdom is to be admired ; ))

How did you train Rowdy not to eat your chickens?

Patricia said...

Entertaining post! Living in a very urban community we have never tried raising chickens but find that more families in the area do have a couple of hens in their backyards! I can resonate with your wife's response to the word "free!" We have a happy marriage, and my husband says his mantra is "Happy Wife, Happy Life!" But I think we are learning the positive effects of compromise. :-)

Mrs. Mac said...

What a deal! Kinda reminds me of getting a pound puppy instead of an expensive pup from a breeder. I'm happy they have all meshed and are laying eggs. The cat is good for the barn. Life is good!

Kumi said...

Oh, Nikita is a beautiful cat and a fortunate one to have found a way to your barn! She reminds me a little bit of the calico cat we had before. Glad she's already made herself at home. :-)

We have been getting farm-fresh eggs weekly from Eugene Local Foods for the past several weeks now. They are so different and much better/fresher even compared to the good organic eggs from a grocery store. We can never ever go back to grocery store eggs now. The idea of having our own hen in the backyard is sounding better by the day...

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Oh I love cats and yours are so adorable. I have one similar like your orange but have to let my parents take care of him. I like to plan as well but never good at keeping them. I would be excited as well if I hear the word FREE! What a good deal with the chickens! I guess Rowdy don't mind at all with the attention he is having from the new addition.

Oxray Farm said...

Nice score Mrs. H! Free chickens are the best kind. I am glad everyone is settling in well and no babies to brood which is an awesome bonus!

We considered Leghorns because they are smart and excellent layers, but they are also excellent flyers. Being in close quarters with cars and neighbors we decided against them, after all wing clipping only does so much.

What a motley crew of girls, congrats!

small farm girl said...

I think she did a good job. You could have waited all of 6 months before you got any eggs. Now, you don't have to wait. lol

Buttons said...

Mr H. I think Mrs H. is a genius. She is right always go for free when you can. It always seems to work out. The chickens are nice. I always loved watching them it is a nice mix. This will save you a lot of time.
Love your new cat she is so pretty.
Mrs. H. Keep up the good work, you are very wise.

Steve & Paula said...

Free younger hens are a real score!
If one of your BOs goes broody soon, jump on BYC and get some fertile eggs for her.
They are super good mommys and will make chick raising a breeze.

Ayak said...

I'm definitely with Mrs H..I love things that are free!

I love your chickens. We are seriously thinking of getting chickens some time.The problem is that everyone here has chickens and they all wander about the lanes, which is great of course. But I wonder how they know where they belong? I mean how do they find their way back to the correct garden?

The other problem is that Beki and Poppy bark constantly at the chickens and I'm wondering how they would get on with them if they were in our garden.

Frugilegus said...

Scrappy and scraggly and orangish and not orangish: sounds a perfectly charming ragbag bunch to me. And free and egg-laying too!

Mrs H is clearly very wise. In her position, I would behave terribly and make a note of how well listening to her has turned out, on a little list I have called 'future ammunition for conversations with He-who-lives-with-me'. But, of course, I would not recommend such terrible behaviour to anyone else...

Daphne said...

Sounds like me and my husband. I'm quite happy to wing it. I'm painting the bathroom (with a mural) and DH wanted to see the plan of what was going there. Like I would make a plan. I do for the garden since otherwise I'd miss planting something important, but for most things I'd rather just let it happen.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Sound slike Mrs. H and I would get along great! Free is always exciting!

Those sound like marvelous new hens, free or not! That was a good find! Amazing that they are all getting along without incident.

I am so glad that new kitten has a good home now. Cats are wonderful pets! We love them and have two ourselves!

Year Round Vegetable Gardener said...

It sounds like you and Mrs H have figured out the secret to marriage! What a fun post.. and inspiring.. we've been debating chickens for a few years now. we're held back by by-laws, but those should be overturned within a few months.. it's been quite a debate in Halifax - funny to see adults scrapping over the possibility of owning urban chickens! :)

Niki

Lorena said...

Mrs H sounds a lot like my friend who drove form Latah County Idaho clear to almost the Canadian border for "Free" chickens. I asked her "how much was that in gas for "free" chickens?" For my friend, the chaotic journey and story of "free" chickens also had value

The Gingerbread House said...

My Mom always said "strike while the iron is hot" and I live by that motto.. good thing Mrs H. does too. You and my hubby wait to long to make a decision and the fire is out or cold by then...

Mike said...

Sounds like quite the crew! We have two White Leghorns and they are great layers, big white eggs, every day, good bird. The Redstar female was good to us too before she passed.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

YAY!!! what a beautiful cat (no you cannot send her to me) and what beautiful hens! one of my fav hens is a leghorn. they are NUTS but i love my little Angel PurplePants.

and for the record, i'm a "lets do it today" kind of gal and my hubby is "what!?! TODAY!?!?" it works.
;-)
ps free is my favorite price!

GrafixMuse said...

enjoyed reading this experience! Kudos to you for accepting Mrs. H’s opportunistic attitude. Although it may have thwarted your plans, you now have additional chickens already to producing eggs for you. They are so lucky you found them.

Nikita Katerina seems happy to have found such a wonderful home.

Mavis said...

You Rock Mrs H... FREE FREE FREE... the early bird gets the worm! I mean seriously... how can you say no to 7 FREE egg layers? It's simply not possible...

Anyway... it's good to keep that old Mr. H on his toes...

Dani said...

Mr & Mrs H - you sound just like RMan and me. Rman is the planner (very tedous sometimes) and I am the strike while the iron is hot.

Due to my impulsiveness (and tey were also free) we have scored, thus far, a recycled kitchen counter and burglar bars for two doors - go, Mrs H go! Women like us steer the world LOL

vrtlarica ana said...

I love this story of you and Mrs H. I think that everyone can find themselves in it somehow.

I'm not a cat person, but ever since neighbor's cats got those voles in my greenhouse, I like them much more.

Mr. H. said...

El - I have never watched All Creatures Great and Small but will have to take a look. I do indeed need lots of molding and nudging, Mrs. H does a fine job of keeping heading in the right direction.:)

Granola Girl - It's all about compromise and Mrs. H is usually right more often than not anyway...and who could turn down an orangish colored chicken.:)

Julie - She is a very wise woman, which is why I let her run my life...leastwise when it comes to free stuff.:) When Rowdy was a puppy we would bring him into the chicken area on a leash and let him off for as long as he behaved, over the period of a couple months he finally understood that as long as he did not try to chase the chickens he could stay unleashed while we were out with the birds. Our chickens have about a 1 acre area to free range in and Rowdys job is to patrol it and make sure there are no predators. He is pretty good at this now and we are very, very comfortable leaving him with his little "sisters."

Patricia - My motto is the same as your husbands and as it goes both ways compromise does indeed make for a great marriage.:)

Mrs. Mac - Life is good, and while I must admit that the last thing I wanted was another cat I could hardly argue wit her about feeding one that was starving. Yes, Micki did good as it would have been a whole heck of a lot more work to raise little chicks.

Kumi - She is a very lucky cat, and really seems to appreciate her new home. We use to buy organic eggs too and when our hens first started laying I was so surprised at the difference...makes you wonder doesn't it.

Malay-Kadazan girl - It's pretty funny, Rowdy and the new cat are best buddies...she hangs all over him and he thinks that is just wonderful. Our other two cats have never been very nice to Rowdy so he is very happy to have a cat in the house that actually likes him.

Oxray Farm - They are indeed a motley crew of hens but boy has our egg production picked up.:) Yes, I can't wait to see how easily the 2 leghorns are able to fly into our garden this summer...should be interesting.:)

Small Farm Girl - We only had to wait 1 day before they started laying so yes it really did turn out to be a good decision thanks to Mrs. H.:)

Buttons - I think this is Mrs. H's favorite post that I have written as everyone has so many kind words to say about her. Yes, she is a genius in many things that I am not. What good is a man without a strong woman by his side.:)

Steve & Paula - I will keep that in mind, we have considered getting a rooster again but I like your fertile egg idea much better.

Mrs. Ayak - If many people have chickens that run wild throughout the village I can't imagine how they ever find the eggs or keep track of their birds...hmm. Many, not all, dogs that have not been trained to behave around chickens will fall back to their natural instinct of looking at the birds as a source of food so I would be really cautious. That said, our previous dog, she was old, never bothered our hens at all.

Frugilegus - They are an ornery ragbag bunch to be sure, but then so are we so I guess it all works out just right.:) Trust me, Mrs. H does indeed take mental notes so that she can remind me of her wisdom whenever I question her tactics.:)

Daphne - Your system is exactly like my wifes and I think perhaps you two have it right in that too much planning just gets in the way of getting it done.:)

kitsapFG said...

You ended up with a nice diverse flock out of the deal - both in breeds and age. Did you do anything specifically to do the introduction of the new hens to the old?

Great post!

kitsapFG said...

Oh! I forgot to mention how beautiful your new feline friend is! She looks like a wonderful soul that is grateful to have found a good home.

Mr. H. said...

Sheryl - When we first brought the chickens home I separated them with a piece of fencing so they could all get use to seeing each other for a few hours. Because the new hens have been fairly submissive, a pecking order quickly fell into place and no one complained. I think it really helped that we introduced 7 new hens instead of only 1 or 2.

Niki - How exciting, perhaps you will be getting a couple chickens soon. I have never understood why it would be an issue to have a couple hens when you can have a dog or cat that no doubt get into much more trouble than a few egg laying birds. Yes, one of the secrets to a good marriage is as simple as listening to each others ideas even if both parties are not always in 100% agreement.

Lorena - I think I would have argued a bit more if Mrs. H had wanted to drive that far for chickens...fortunately for us ours were much, much closer to home. Although I must admit that we did take quite a trip when it cam time to get our little dog.:)

Ginny - You are right, it would no doubt be much better if us men folk just learned to listen to our good wives more often.:)

Mike - I am very pleased with the new hens and surprised at how well the Leghorns are laying. The nice thing about them is I can tell their eggs apart from the rest.:)

Ohiofarmgirl - Angel Purple Pants? Wow, what a name.:) I thought for sure when you saw a picture of our new cat you would want to take her? She is FREE to a good home.:)

GrafixMuse - Yes, Mrs. H does have a very opportunistic attitude that really comes in handy at times. She is certainly better at deals like this than I am. Nikita Katerina is a very happy little kitty now.:)

Mavis - Oh, believe me she does do a good job of keeping me on my toes...just about every five minutes.:)

Dani - Women like you and Mrs. H do indeed steer the world. A free counter and bars for the doors is wonderful, I don't have the knack for finding free items that you all do but I am watching and learning.:)

Vrtlarica ana - I have never been a cat person either but with three of them now I'm sure to come around whether I want to or not.:) I'm glad you liked the story, it was fun to write.

Sense of Home said...

Mrs. H. sounds like a woman I could learn a lot from. Terrific post!

-Brenda

Mr. H. said...

Laura - We gave that little cat such a great big name because she was such a scrawny little misfit with such a big heart...she is a gem.

As to the chickens, I simply separated them so that they could see each other for a few hours. Once the initial introductions were over I allowed everyone to be together and gave them all a bunch of salad greens and other things to keep them preoccupied with food rather than fighting. The next day they were all pretty much use to each other and we never really had any issues. I think it really helped that we introduced 7 new hens rather than just 1 or 2.

Mr. H. said...

Brenda - I know that I learn a lot from her...every day. She's the best.:)

Fiona said...

Thanks for introducing your motley crew of winged and four-legged creatures! I love hearing how folks 'accumulate' their extended homestead family members and yours is a good story to boot! I'm like a blend of you and your wife -- I research things to the last detail, but as soon as I hear the word free, watch out!

Heiko said...

Congratulations to the new additions to the family. I'm hoping that we'll have some sometime soon too. As for leghorns, we live 60 Miles away from Leghorn, or as the Italians ncall it, Livorno.

John Gray said...

I have just housed 10 "reds"like yours... they were mistreated and underweaight but have turned out to be the tamest and sweetest hens I have owned

Elizabeth said...

I love it!!!
Your story is wonderful. My daughter wants chickens so badly. We wanted to raise them some years back for 4-H.
I need to research chickens that do well in hot, humid climates!! Do they get pests? I am kind of creeped out about what might be "living" on them. Or are they pretty clean?
Peace & Raw Health,
Elizabeth
PS I am envious of your cats sitting on your lap. Our cat is a psycho and won't even let us touch her.

farmer said...

Great post Mr.H!
I'm glad you like your new chooks.
I would highly recommend to you the Australorp and Americauna they are both excellent layers and personable birds, and who dosen't like the blue eggs of a Americauna?
My husband swears they taste better.
I have to say that I also adore my Cochins as well,I know they are not on your list but they are a big gentle bird with good production of nice sized brown eggs and the good thing about the bigger breeds is when you hatch to many roosters they are substantial enough for a good roasting bird.
All of these breeds do excellent here in our cold climate.
And what a unique cat!
Have a wonderful day~HMF

Jackie said...

aw, c'mon. they were FREE! You needed to get them yesterday!

oh my days. the captcha code is 'bantie'. Spooky.

kelli said...

what a sweet homestead. i'd love to have more animals. someday!

kitsapFG said...

Thanks for answering my question Mr. H. I know that at some point in the future I will need to introduce a few younger "girls" into the flock and have worried about how to do that successfully. I have a while before that is an issue, but want to prepare for that time by learning how others successfully do it.

Ms. Adventuress said...

What a divine win-win-win for all of you. SO beautiful!

(oh my gosh, no...I never liked raw tomatoes...and as someone who loved fruits and veggies, go figure. but now...wee!)

Mr. H. said...

Fiona - Yes, we are building up quite the collection of critters around here. I think you have it the right way with a blend of being well studied and moving quickly when it is advantageous...I'll keep working on that last one.:)

Heiko - So Livorno is where all leghorns originated...fascinating.:) I can so see you with a small flock of chickens and hope you are able to do so soon. Just make sure you acquire them them for free.:)

John - That's great, in looking at your fine chicken run via your blogs pictures I have no doubt that those are some very lucky little birds. Good for you, taking in mistreated birds.

Elizabeth - Healthy chickens do not usually have pests, leastwise ours never have. You will have to check out
MyPetChicken.com, it is a useful sight that will provide some insight in which breeds might do best in your area. Of course the best route is to see what other people in the area are raising.

Farmer - Thanks for the good advice, I really do want to eventually include the Americauna breed and would love to see their blue eggs. You know, I'm not sure why I didn't add Cochins to the list, I will have to remedy that as I do remember reading up on them and really liked what I saw.

Jackie - You know why it says "Bantie," because that's the breed I would really love to have but unfortunately I think they would be too darn tempting for all of the neighborhood cats. My parents had Bantie hens when I was a boy and they were just the best little foragers ever.

Kelli - I hope your wishes come true and chickens are a great place to start. They can be the ultimate pet giving eggs and fertilizer while keeping the bug population down and in turn all we do is provide them with a good home...everyone wins.:)

Laura - I look forward to someday seeing your newest members and reading how the introductions go...it should be a couple more years though I would suppose. I just did the math and our original hens were born in March 2007 and are still laying fairly well...especially since they now have competition...really, everyone wants a turn in the nest-boxes. We had 5 eggs from our originals yesterday and 6 from the new hens.

Ms. Adventuress - It is a win win situation...especially for the chickens and my wife since her part is done and now I get to care for the birds for the next who knows how many years.:) I'm glad you came around to liking tomatoes, it really is amazing how our taste buds can actually adapt to different foods even ones we do not think we like.

Kimberly said...

I like your wife already! "Orangish" is definitely a word I've used. FREE is a favorite word of mine also. Craigslist is one of the top "most visited" sites. All of our cats have been strays. Our Border Collie a stray/dumped off in the neighborhood; our pug was a pound dog. Everyone has been "fixed" also.

Love the Leghorns as they lay such HUGE eggs. Also have white Brahmas which are very cute. Our one lone barred rock hen is about 10 years old. She survived the coyotes which decimated our flock a few years ago.

villager said...

With three cats already, how many would you have if you really liked them? ;-)

"Free" is a great word, much loved around here as well.

Bev said...

A chicken story with a happy ending! Congratulations on the successful introduction of new birds into your flock and avoiding the chick raising.

I, too, like to think about things for a long time, but I have found that sometimes you just need to jump in and sort out the details as they arise. Sounds like Mrs. H has got that figured out.

Kelsi said...

We had a red star hen and she was my favorite. Such a sweetheart! I hope you enjoy those.

Curbstone Homestead said...

Thanks for the list of cold hardy breeds, I have been trying to compile one myself!

contadina said...

You'll not regret getting the Livorno Leghorns - they are, in my experience, the most efficient egg-layers (easily 300+ per annum). No matter what the weather, they just keep popping out those beautiful big white eggs.

Mr. H. said...

Kimberly - You are right, Craigslist is an excellent place to to hunt stuff down, we actually use it quite a bit. I bet your Border Collie and Pug make quite the pair...good for you for taking in so many stray animals and providing a nice home for them. Wow, a 10 year old hen...that's pretty amazing.

Villager - Free is good, as my wife is so fond of teaching me.:) Trust me, three cats is more than enough but we did have four once...we are suckers for little stray animals. No mice in our house.:)

Bev - Yes, we were lucky in that the introductions of new birds went smoothly. It is definitely helping that enough snow has melted to allow them access to the outside world too...keeps them busy and out of trouble. As far as thinking things out or jumping right in I think you are right and that it is best to be able to do both.

Kelsi - I think the little Red Star is going to be our favorite too. She runs right up to us every time we go out to the chicken pen and is very friendly.

Curbstone Homestead - I glad that was of some use to you, many of the breeds on that list are also birds that fellow bloggers that live in colder climates have and are happy with. Most of our experience has been with the Rhode Island Reds and I can attest to their egg laying ability, cold hardiness, and they are also excellent foragers..a little obnoxious at times but an all around great bird.

Contandina - It is nice to have a chicken that originated in Italy, I did not realize that until Heiko made mention of it. So far they have been laying really well and will hopefully be an excellent addition to our growing flock.

WeekendFarmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WeekendFarmer said...

lol : ) very cute post. I guess you will 'hate' me when we meet. I am free spirited, go with the moment kinda guy whereas Mrs. wf needs months and months of planning, discussion, consultation etc. Safe to say I drive her crazy : )

Lovely addition to the chicken flock. I love white leghorns. I will order some this Spring, however, our egg customers dont like white eggs : ( weird I know.

Will send you an email on the rose buds. Thanks so much!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who needs to go to the humane society when cats mysteriously appear in the barn!! I'm noticing a theme in the H household, orangish dog, orangish hens, orangish cats... Jim wears a lot of orange shirts (because they are usually the ones on sale) and his friends bought him a big, puffy bright orange coat which he happily wears while walking the dogs! I guess orangish is a happy color! Love the post! Paige

Leigh said...

Excellent score on chickens, if I do say so. And to have the new hens fit right in is a marvel in itself. I'm still trying to figure out how to increase my flock without incident, especially since you like those Buff Orps (which are on my chicken list!) And, Nikita Katerina is so pretty. Looks like she now has a wonderful home.

Mr. H. said...

Weekendfarmer - Well, I guess that is why they say that opposites attract when it comes to marriage so that each can be balanced out by the other.:)

I think the reason some people don't like white eggs is because they associate them with the store bought kind and think they are getting something extra special with the brown ones...I don't know, our whites and brown sure taste the same to me.


Paige - You don't need an extra cat do you? We have plenty of extras.:) But yes, we do seem to be acquiring a lot of orangish colored animals of late. Speaking of orange, Micki even has has a blue and orange coat that she wears when it is cold out. It's so bright it hurts my eyes...keeps the peeping coyotes away.:)

Leigh - Orangish or not, the Orpington twins sure are a turning out to be a couple of nice hens. They were out in the woods pecking around a good part of the day yesterday with sister Red Star and the leghorn clan and found their way back to the hen-house just before dark without issue. I was worried about whether I would have to take up chicken herding in the evenings but so far so good as everyone seems to know where they live...and where to lay the eggs. For the most part I think they are just very happy to be out of that tiny cage surrounded by feral cats that we found them in.:(

WeekendFarmer said...

Hi again...I thought I had your email address. Cant find it : )

You wanna email me at tashreef@yahoo.com

Thanks!!!

Robbyn said...

Go,Mrs H !!!!! congrats on your new flock members and the rescue kitty :)

6512 and growing said...

Nice flock of girls you got there. I bet you'll find a way to enjoy all those new layers while avoiding the raising of chicks (which I personally love, but my husband is not so pleased about our bathroom full of cheepers)

Greenside Up said...

Mr H another great post - we LOVE our hens, and thank them daily for their eggs! I like your site so much I've nominated it for a (just for a bit of fun) Stylish Blog Award. To accept just follow the guidelines
http://greensideupveg.blogspot.com/

Mr. H. said...

Robbyn - Thanks, it was really neat to see all of the birds wandering around outside yesterday...Nikita Katerina even tried to introduce herself to them, the birds didn't think too much of that.:)

6512 and growing - Baby chickens in the bathroom...bet the kids would like that.:)

Greenside Up - Yes, nothing beats a fresh egg does it. Thanks for the award, I will stop by and check it out.:)

Scott Mueller said...

Great post... glad to have found your blog recently. We're making a similar shift in our lives, and have begun our little farm not far from you guys, up north of Spokane. It's great to hear from folks doing similar things.

Ms. Adventuress said...

Okay...now I must find wild sage around these parts, as thanks to you two, we get to learn how to "remember" to do these things, too!

Mr. H. said...

Scott - How exciting, it looks like our mild winter will continue and with any luck we will have an early spring this year that will hopfully lead to an excellent gardening season. Nice to meet you.

Ms. Adventuress - Yes, it is always good to learn some of the things our ancestors and those who came before us were so well versed in.:)

What Pigs Don't Know said...

Free chickens! Well, you can't beat that. We just bought a bunch for $5 each & I was ecstatic to pay so little. But free? I would have died and gone to chicken heaven! Loved the post - in our marriage my husband is the spontaneous, non-planning one and I'm the researcher, excessive planner, weigh all options extraordinaire! So I really related to what you wrote. Planners unite! (But do let the non-planners have a say occasionally!) ;) -Carrie

Annie's Granny said...

Your posts always make me feel (a) smarter, because I've learned something new, or (b) happier, because they made me walk around with a smile on my face for the rest of the day. This was a (b) post. A big "high five" to Mrs. H.

Mr. H. said...

Carrie - Happy to hear you got a good deal on your birds too, but yes, free is hard to beat. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that likes to know how deep the water is before jumping off the cliff.:)

Annie's Granny - Well hearing that puts a big smile on my face too.:) Thanks Granny.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

i AM having a great day! thanks. but i was laughing about your lack of roosters, thinking "then how are you gonna get FREE chickens"... but then i remembered you need only reach out your hand and Mrs H finds the free ones online! whooot! hee hee hee hee hee. oh golly... thats a hoot.

Ms. Adventuress said...

Oh yes, if you harvest those lake seaweeds, you know we'll want to watch. :o)

LynnS said...

Didn't you guys luck out with those layers?! Love your kind description of Leghorns. I always called them "schizo".....maybe you will learn why later. HAHAHA

Silke said...

Oh, my, you made me laugh with this story! It seems that Mrs. H. is very good for you and vice versa! Love all your orangish animals - and the others as well! I bet Rowdy is happy with more chickens around... Never a dull moment, is there?! :) Silke

Mr. H. said...

OFG - Yep, I'm giving the girls the year off from roosters...I kind of doubt they will mind.:)

Ms. Adventuress - If I do it I will certainly write up a report with pictures.:)

Lynn - So far the Leghorns have managed to stay out of trouble but I am a bit worried about how their breaking and entering techniques will be with this summer's garden. All the rest of the hens are or will be too fat to fly but those little leghorns look like they could really soar through the air if they wanted to.:)

Silke - Yes, it would appear that orangish is our color...maybe we should call ourselves "Orangish Farms.":) Yes, Mrs. H and I are good for each other. She always says that between the two of us we almost make up one intelligent well balanced person.:)

Jane said...

I am glad I am not the only one who can get myself into trouble on craigslist. Free is just to hard to resist, and disease free birds to boot! Go Mrs. H!

Mr. H. said...

Jane - Yes, craigslist is pretty neat and we have used it quite a bit over the past couple years. So far so good with the new hens, they all seem very healthy and are laying well. The biggest problem is getting the two Leghorns to go to bed at night. I have had to place at least one of them on the perch every night since we got them...and it's not because they don't know how to use the perch, they just don't want the day to end.:)

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