Saturday, August 6, 2011

Eggs-citing Developments


Well, my day is complete. I've been able to weave some chicken word play into some dialogue AND its only 9 am. I'm writing you here this morning to say that the months of cleaning up chicken shit is starting to pay off. Our hens started laying eggs a week ago and haven't looked back. We're averaging 1-2 eggs per day. So I can kiss good bye the local free range eggs we spent $5 on per week.

To be precise, we're seeing pullet eggs . They are rather small, but the literature tells us that the eggs will grow in size as the hens mature. They are still really tasty. Like the free range eggs at the store, the yolks are brighter.

On a side note related to matter exiting a chicken's body... I must admit, the waste produced by these chickens is a lot easier to clean up than originally thought. Their little hen house gets cleaned frequently and it only takes me five minutes. We let them roam the backyard occasionally and they usually stick to the outer fringe of our yard, under and around the foliage and vegetables. So, their business is directly applied to the soil that needs it when they are free ranging it. hoo-ray, one less thing for me.

Earlier this week, I was on my own for dinner and was able to assemble a pretty tasty dinner comprised of almost all backyard ingredients. How's that for local? As I was basking in the glory of my breakfast-dinner (THE best type of dinner), our eggs, and easy poop pick-up I got to thinking, "if I were self-sustaining, I'd be dead now." Kind of depressing, I know. If we were off on our own and had to produce all of our own food, we would have starved months ago. Now I know that if all of this were for real, we would be out on a larger parcel of land with an approach that consistently yielded something to eat. Nonetheless we don't live like that now, so this backyard chicken adventure has yet another un-intended benefit. I appreciate the food system for its consistent availability. It's kind of appalling the stuff considered food sometimes, but it's always there. I get that, Grocery Manufacturers Association. The challenge as you all know is how to find and maintain a balance between the mass production of food and that of smaller farm operations. Farm policy in this country has to change. We need a new a direction. One that appreciates the consistency and availability of more mass produced foods, but also supports the healthy and sustainable nature of the free range, grass fed, hormone free, organic movement. And the last thing that needs to happen is for these two approaches to food distribution to fall along socio-economic lines. But that's another post for another time. I've got another quick post about a backyard line-up change to draft.

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