One of the very first things I did when I moved onto our little 3 acre hobby farm was buy some chickens. I grew up on a farm and one of my chores was to care for our farms chickens. We had a dozen laying hens and raised about 100 friers for our family and extended family. During September our families would get together and butcher the lot. Kids were in charge of the plucking. I had to feed our chickens, make sure they were secure in their coop at night, and collect eggs. For generations my family has had farms were we grew crops for our selves and others. Eggs were standard fare for most Americans, we were a rurual culture, that is, everyone had chickens and ate a lot of eggs. Most of my folk either died of old age or a farming accident. So why are eggs so bad now?
We have eleven hens. During the winter the pullets continue to lay their eggs, I kept 4 young hens this year from the spring hatching, The young hens lay anywhere from 2-4 eggs a day. Enough weekly eggs for my husband and myself. During late winter, end of January the older hens start laying again after taking the winter off for molting and resting their reproduction system. The extra eggs I hatch for meat and to sell young hens called pullets. I’ve really enjoyed raising chickens. I raise endangered heritage stock, there are hundreds of old chicken lines dying out because of factory farming which only uses a couple kinds of chickens and now very few people raise heritage chickens. That’s all changing now, many people want to grow a small garden and have their own chickens for a variety of reasons. Mostly to enjoy the experience of connecting with nature and a way of life that is quickly dying. Another reason people feel happy knowing their food, where it comes from. It is a good feeling to be food independent, to not depend on someone else. That’s so important as many of us are finding out how our farmland and animal stock have been horrible abused and neglected by big agriculture and Corporations like Monsanto. People are banding together, sharing land, trading seeds, veggies, and animals, they want to grow their own and get off the corporate grid, which is now selling us poison. Also only growing one or two types of livestock or plants sets us up for plagues which could wipe out our food grids. Banana plantations managed by big corporations are a good example of why we need diversity and small farming practices.