It seems like I am getting some interested people checking things out since I did the Talk of the Town on CBC radio. That's great! I've never thought that having chickens was that unusual but if the exposure means that one more person is willing to try it, that's great. That would be one less household counting the days back to see if they can expect to be very very ill after eating something bad.
A couple of things, I'm not an expert but I've been smart enough to pick the ear of some people that are. My Dad kept chickens when I was growing up, he's been the major source of support for this entire project. I'm sure he has pains whenever he picks up the phone and hears, "So, what ya doin' tomorrow?" The other wonderful source of information for me has been a man named Jim Hopkins. Jim has forgotten more this week about birds than I even know! He has been a major force in resurrecting the Chantecler which in all the photos are the white birds. I also got my Moran and the Wells Summer Cross birds from him. I figure, why start trying not to eat factory meat by buying chicks from a factory farm?
So this is part of my flock of 16. Front and centre is the female W/S cross, behind her is her hatch mate and rooster. I can't get over how beautiful he is becoming. I think he's going to be one of the birds I overwinter for sure. He's beautiful, and HUGE! If there's a baby-daddy in there, he should be it. To the left, the black and white barred chicken is a Moran, which I know nothing about really. The group on the right are the rescue chickens I got when a local lady wasn't able to look after her flock anymore. They are 'barnies' really. I would think Araucana crossed with Bantam birds. Most of them are quite small but the colouring is similiar to the Araucana and they lay blue eggs which is pretty distinctive of that breed.
The other thing I am working on is their run. See how they have stripped it entirely of anything green. I really should let them out to free range but I'm just a little too nervous of the local critters. I have a few of everything (coons, fox, local house cats to name a few) and the other thing is that my property is not very remote and quiet. I really don't want to annoy the neighbours (I think they already think I'm a little crazy?!) So, I try and feed them something fresh everyday, greens from around the yard, the cabbage in the crisper that looks kind of suspect. It's into jelly season so they have been getting a fair bit of jelly leftovers like chokecherry seeds and such. Next summer I hope to have a second run that I can alternate back and forth to. This year, I'm pretty happy with what I've gotten done.
So, short version, pretty birds. I'm happy with them and don't believe all the negative stuff. They don't stink, they don't peck each other to death. They are quite fun to watch really, each of them have a little character of their own. Give it a try!