Monday, October 4, 2010

A Boy and His Chickens



After grad school I spent a summer as a volunteer park ranger in southeast Alaska.  In addition to my ranger duties, I also spent two weeks as a replacement caretaker for a fishing lodge while the regular caretakers were on their honeymoon in the "lower 48".  While there were many highlights and adventures that summer (the postcard perfect landscape, endless salmon fishing, numerous brown bear and moose encounters), I found myself most amused and enamored with the small chicken flock that pecked and scratched around the small cabin I stayed in.  I guess without electricity and running water, you find entertainment in the simplest things.  Since then, the idea of chicken ownership seemed to fit well into the plan of owning land and building a sustainable house.  While I've never had any experience farming, nor aspired to be a farmer, the lure of fresh, salmonella-free eggs, and the nonstop entertainment of plump little red hens running free was overwhelming.  So when the opportunity arrived to adopt 5 rhode island red hens, I took it.  Jeremy helped me build a coop for the hens and, surprisingly, Oslo has become the primary chicken tender (hee, hee, nice pun).  He's named every one according to personality (Beauty Queen, Reliable Runny, Stripe, Peta and Polka) and handles them as much as they tolerate.  Oh, and we eat fresh eggs often.  With everything we've accomplished with our house over the past year, I have to say that those little chickens pecking in my yard make me feel as if I've truly "arrived". 

2 comments:

RCB said...

Jeremy,
When I was a kid, we had a few years where we raised 100+ chickens. It was a lot of fun, but that many of them confined a coop wasn't always so pleasant. I have some great pics of my brother holding a chick in his hands like it was the most delicate thing in the world. Nice addition to your spread. Tremendous job with the house!
Rob

decorative said...

there's a lot of fun thanks for sharing this article