This isn’t my first rodeo, people, I once had another blog. Sometimes I look back on those first attempts with a sense of nostalgia. I think all bloggers try and fail at blogging at least once, I’m sure there are statistics on it somewhere. My first blog was about my backyard chickens and I called it City Slicken Chicken. Can you imagine, no one had thought of that catchy title before? The website was still available as a .com! I felt like I hit the jackpot. The blog, however, was a failure. Mostly because I lost interest and also because I never told anyone I was doing it, so I had no readers, my interest further waning…
I grew up in the city, just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a million miles away from the future chicken coup with backyard chickens and little garden I would later cultivate in my little piece of heaven. As a teenager I travelled to North Carolina for a family reunion and it left such a mark on my psyche that I just knew I would live there someday. North Carolina, with its beautiful tall trees, jutting out from rocky faces, streams and waterfalls just beside the road, and lovely sleepy seaside towns. North Carolina,where I escaped to for my residency, when my relationship fell apart, where I would later meet my future husband and raise my future children, where I would build my medical practice and become part of a rural community.
There are certainly many charms that go along with living and working in a rural community. People often equate rural with “not too bright,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a vast wealth of knowledge about life and survival to be found in the country. I think city-dwellers take that for granted. What would you do if there were no Starbucks or grocery stores? Could you grow your own food, make what you need, be self sufficient? That was part of the allure for me when it came to the chickens. It was such a novelty. I could not imagine having chickens in my yard in South Florida. It might even be illegal, but here in the country, it was allowed, encouraged, and accepted.
Technically, my home is IN a neighborhood, IN the country, but some of my neighbors have chickens, too. On a cool, calm, quiet morning, I can stand in my backyard and hear my neighbor’s rooster crowing, hens clucking, cows mooing, and a peacock making whatever noise they make. A few roads over a farmer has some peacocks. Not really sure why, but they are pretty.
Aren’t my chickens pretty? They are called Barred Rocks. The rooster is the meanest creature on the planet, I’m not kidding. Our rooster has attacked everyone in our family and a few friends. He is securely locked in his pen with his ladies. We each have our ways of getting in and out unnoticed by him. The amazing part is I’ve seen raccoons and squirrels scurrying about in the pen and the rooster does NOTHING. I feed that little shit, give him shelter, make sure he’s got a sweet little hen harem to mount and the thanks I get is he rears up on his tail feather and kicks those little legs at me in attack mode. If he weren’t so old and his meat so tough, I’d make a meal of him.
My little chickens have provided a steady supply of eggs for my family, my in-laws and a few friends for the past 3 years. You don’t even know how good an egg can taste until you go out in the coup, pick one or two up, bring them inside and cook them. Wow. That’s all I can say about it. Nothing like it.
Just as an aside, if you were ever interested in raising your own backyard chickens, the roosters are not necessary for the hens to lay eggs, but are a necessary component to make more chickens…