Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pork, the other white meat

Because you asked... 

My two remaining chickens are doing very well. Thanks for asking! Between Minnie and Peach, I'm getting about 10 to 12 eggs per week. Eugenia went to the big henhouse in the sky in early December, followed by Clara a few weeks ago. My chickens don't ever seem to get sick – they just expire overnight when I least expect it. While I love my chickens and certainly appreciate their bountiful gifts, I don't get that attached to them, which is just as well. Peach is 4 now and Minnie is 3, so their prime laying years are almost behind them. They have a forever home here, whether they lay eggs or not. I'll be adding two or three girls to the flock in early summer, when some good-sized pullets should be available.

Meanwhile, the lunchtime routine – when the chickens and Wynonna switch places in the front yard – has been made a bit easier with only two chickens. Let me show you what goes on.

First I have to find the chickens. Sometimes they're walking around scratching the dirt 
and looking for stuff to eat, other times they're napping under a bush.

I get behind them and herd them toward their door in the barn. 
Sometimes they're cooperative, other times they're not. Herding chickens can be a lot like herding cats. 

Speaking of herding cats, do you see mine up there helping me?

Yesterday I opened Wynonna's gate and let her out before I went in search of the chickens, 
which is always a big mistake, but she was yelling so loudly to get out, I had no choice.
If you've forgotten how vocal Wynonna can be, watch this.

Peach was being a good chicken and climbed right through the door.

Minnie, the opportunist, went straight for Wynonna.

Minnie: Nom nom nom nom nom...pork butt, rump roast, call it what you will. I call it lunch.

And this is why Wynonna and the chickens have to take turns in the front yard.
The chickens will peck at her unmercifully if I turn them out together.
Anyway, I had to stop taking pictures before blood was drawn but I shooed Minnie into the barn,
Wynonna found her place in the sun to nap, and I finished my chores and went back to work.


  1. Chickens can be mean and nasty little creatures. Roosters are worse!
    I love fresh eggs too. I have a local farmer who sells them to me.
    Fresh eggs really make a difference in my baking. Give Wynonna
    a kiss from me. BA SP

  2. Ah, the chicken conundrum. I feel the same way about chickens. I like to have them, watch them, but also eat them. There will always be more chickens. They are a delight all around. It is a way of life. I will never understand alternative lifestyle chicken keeping. I knew people that had chicken diapers on their birds and let them run around the house. Those people can't imagine me eating chicken and owning them, too. Somehow, we all coexist.

  3. The Llfe and Times of a chicken is so much fun...

  4. Wynonna is a good sport. I'm surprised she didn't retaliate when the chicken was munching on her butt.

  5. Thanks for the update on the Peeps. I didn't know you were down 2. Looking forward to the new ones and what you will name them.

  6. It is a balancing act. Looks to be working well. I think about your chickens often when I eat my pale yellows eggs from the store :)

  7. Wynonna reminds me of one of our cats. They share the same body type and hunger grumble.

    Thanks goodness for the help of Johnny.


  8. Thanks Linda! I did not know that chickens would peck at piggies - the only birds I had to worry about when I fostered a family of pot bellied pigs was eagles - very young baby pigs are a tempting treat to raptors. I love that Wynonna knows when it is her turn in the yard and lets the rest of the world know it too. :)

  9. Love your title on this post! If only Minnie knew the irony of her taste for pork rump!

  10. Whoa...Minnie may not live to see tomorrow, if she keeps that up. Cheeky... I Did see Johnny hidden in the bushes. His cloaking device needs a little tweaking, but he did make me laugh to see him there. I'm sorry to hear that you lost two of your girls. I'm wondering how I'll handle that...IF I EVER GET CHICKENS! *sigh* Sorry about that...

  11. Ohhhh, I'm really sorry to hear about Clara; she was such a good hen.

    I am SO impressed with Minnie and Peach, though...10-12 eggs a week is a tremendous quantity for gals their ages!! New Mexico life serves them well!
    Can you guess what I'm going to say now?
    ...maybe it's time to add three younger girls to the flock? :-)

  12. Love hearing about your day and I did see young boy helping you.

  13. winnona chérie would not defend herself? would it be a kind of acupuncture massages that Minnie is doing?

  14. Yes, I love my chooks but I try to keep the affection collective because they do tend to drop off the perch at intervals. I read up on this to see if i was doing something wrong and basically some do make it to their teens but in general we don't breed chickens for longevity and for most 3 or 4 is a good innings. I've had a few get to 8 but never 10 or over. I've noticed that if you get very fond of a particular one, that is the one who karks it, so now I give them very silly names (and save the good names for pets that last longer) and try not to get attached to any in particular. I have more or less success at this depending on the personalities of my current hens!