Category: Urban Farming

Chickens and Bees

I’ve been meaning to write about my burgeoning urban farm (I’d say homestead, but I’m just not there yet–though it’s my ultimate goal to have one). The other night, I picked up a nuc of bees, and I figure it’s now time to share a little with you.

I’ve wanted bees since I was 8 years old and did my animal research report on bees. What little I learned then, nurtured a growing love and interest for bees. Where my friends had bee fear, I had none. I loved their diligence and found their worker hierarchy endlessly interesting. My uncle on my mom’s side was a chicken farmer and chicken veterinarian. I remember seeing his farm of chickens and being intimidated by the raw number of cheeping chicks and squawking hens. But I was struck and interested, once again–they had entered my psyche and my world and were no longer a foreign thing but a farm animal to be grown and nurtured.

Then I visited my friend Novella Carpenter’s urban farm about ten years ago–and that made me want to undertake an urban farm and get some chickens.

My husband-at-the-time was firmly opposed. He wanted a strictly ornamental, well-manicured garden. And he wasn’t too hot about livestock, let alone the two tomato plants I did have that ended up attracting rats, to his great dismay. So those plans were on hold indefinitely. Until they were not. Continue reading

Chickens 2015


The chickens have begun laying eggs.

One of the highlights of my day is to go out to the coop and discover freshly laid eggs. Sometimes the egg is warm, the heat yet to dissipate. Sometimes I find several eggs nestled in the pine shavings.

I’ve learned many interesting facts about eggs, because Christine: I love obtuse facts. One of the things I did after recovering from my stroke was to study the brain and brain function and learn the biology and science behind what had happened.

Chickens have a 25 hour cycle. They lay an egg every 25 hours. It’s like their period, and they lay an egg whether a rooster is present or not.

Also, the eggs are egg shaped (elliptical but “pointy” on one end) for a reason: as the egg is expelled through the chicken’s body, the egg is shaped by the muscles pushing it along. Yes, the chicken lays the egg flat/round side out, first. The pointy part is expelled last.

And there you have it.

The eggs are delicious.

Also, my toddler refuses to eat eggs. Because she has figured out they are from the chickens. I fear I am raising a vegan.