The age old question of :what came first the chicken or the egg? Well for me it was definitely the chicken. I am proud to say Transvaal Farm is now the proud owner of 12 Rhode Island Red Chickens.
My son, hubby, brother and father have been working at getting the chicken coop ready for the past 3 weeks. The farm hasnt had chickens for several years so there was some work to be done to get ready for the arrival of the hens. The boys extended the fence to give the birds more roaming room and my son made a new door for the coop.
A trip to the Hitching Post in town with a list in hand to buy things I had never heard of before: mash, oyster shells, and wood chips. The clerk at the desk obviously knew I was a newbe when I pulled my list up from my phone. He proceeded to ask my name and then stated mater-of-factly “oh I heard you were getting chickens” Yes I do live in a small town; I guess it is news when the city girl decides to raise chickens.
It was time, chick day had arrived. The last time my parents had collected their chickens they had transported them in my antique wooden chicken coop- now used as my coffee table. I said no to my coffee table so my brother arrived in the truck with boxes ready to pack these birds.
We waited anxiously (OK maybe just myself was anxious) for the chicken truck to arrive. We were informed the chicken man was late. I started to imagine the chicken truck got held up, like in the Sopranos when those guys held up an entire truck of Italian suits. Well you hear about stuff falling off the back off trucks all the time, why not chickens. Have you seen the price of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the grocery stores? My next thought was this has the basis for an animated movie, you know like Chicken Run; I love that movie. My story would begin with the chickens all talking about how excited they were to be going on a truck ride to their vacation destination. Along the way they spot a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Swiss Chalet and get very nervous. They believe they are actually not going on vacation and they start to plot their escape. Well it was a long wait I had to amuse myself somehow.
Finally the birds arrived and we loaded our 12 into the truck and we were off to bring them to their new home.
I was a little scared at first to handle the hens, their wings were flapping hard and those talons looked pretty sharp. We eventually got them all into the coop where they huddled into the corner looking extremely frightened.
Each day they became more curious about the outside yard and ventured further and further. On the 5th day they finally made it all the way to the other end of the yard.
Each morning I went to the coop with my camera in hand ready to capture a photo of my very first egg. I was getting a little dishearten but on the 8th day a small tiny egg appeared in the nest. I actually had my suspicions that my mother or my brother had planted this egg, as they knew how anxious I was getting. But they both confirmed that the egg was legit. It was a beautiful dark brown colour but extremely small. I was assured that future eggs would eventually get larger. I am happy to say that egg production is up to 12 eggs a day now.
I have yet to try them, but my daughter fried one up the other day and claimed it was delicious.
Thats it for my long winded story about my chickens, next up goats. God help us.