Monthly Archives: December 2016

Daughter of Dinosaurs

The frizzle cochins are HUGE. And I think the two white ones are roosters.

Although they are full-grown, they have yet to either crow or lay eggs, so I can’t be 100% sure yet. Once I am, both the white ones will be rehomed, regardless of sex. I don’t have room for three massive cochins – all I ever wanted was one female, which I have in Ophelia, the grey frizzle.

I’d keep all three if I had room – and if they weren’t roos.  They are so funny, especially from the back view, when they take off running. I took a video for you. You can see a little running action right at the end.

In the Spring, I’m going to allow any girls that go broody to hatch out some more chicks for me. I want some more females that aren’t quite so large (and prone to broodiness.) Broodiness is a trait I have grown to appreciate, since it is SO much easier to raise chicks by letting a mother hen do the work, rather than setting up a brooder box, and then going through the trauma of introducing the young pullets to your older, grumpy hens – who see absolutely zero need for more mouths hogging the treats. So that’s why I wanted to add Ophelia to the mix – cochins are known for being reliable broodies.

But for myself, I need more egg layers. Three of my girls are fairly old, and don’t lay except for select months out of the year. I want to add some blue egg layers – I’m looking at Swedish Flower and Cream Legbars.  Both are extremely pretty birds, with bright eggs.

Right now in the dead of winter, none of my girls are laying…which means I’m buying eggs from the grocery store again. I utterly refuse to buy just any old eggs, though – the torture and abuse of chickens is no longer something I can morally support. Luckily, there are options these days, as people are becoming more aware of how animals are mistreated on factory farms.  You can buy cage-free and “free range” eggs, but unless you’re careful, you’re just buying eggs from hens still raised in unhealthy, unnatural situations.  “Cage-free” just means they aren’t in cages…but they are crammed into warehouses with barely any room to room, and no room at all for natural behaviors. “Free range” all too frequently means the same thing – with a tiny concrete outdoor pen.

I can’t support this. Not after experiencing first-hand the joy my chickens have in their lives. So even though it costs considerably more, until my girls start laying again, I’m buying eggs from a “pasture-raised” farm, Vital Farms.

These chickens are actually outside, in a field, eating grass and bugs.  And you can really tell the difference, once you crack those shells.

The yolks are orange and spritely, standing up proudly from the white.

“I am a daughter of dinosaurs!” Every free chicken absolutely believes that in her little chicken soul. Makes me smile every time.