I don’t know when my chickens were born. I’m guessing it was on or about December 2, 2011, but that really is a guess and the exact date doesn’t matter all that much to me. The date that does matter to me (and I hope to them) is the date we brought them into our backyard and our lives. That was March 23, 2012. So, as of Saturday, Frank and I have officially broken out of novice-chicken-wrangler stage and can now claim some level of chook-knowledge. Not a huge amount of knowledge mind you, but enough to feel pretty comfortable around chickens and their silly ways.
In the past year there have been a lot of highs (those first eggs, those adorable personalities) and a few lows (the odd health scare, Bronwyn breaking into the vegetable patch again… and again… and again… ). But, on balance, they’ve been a great addition to our lives. They are 90% pets and 10% food producers. They are 90% sweethearts and 10% pests. They are 90% funny and 10% frustrating. Statistics don’t lie, they are great to have around.
By my calculation we’ve collected over 900 eggs from our 3 girls in the past year which has improved our health, saved us some money (maybe not quite paying their set-up and running costs yet, but close), delighted our friends, connected us a bit more with the environment, and inspired a lot of experimentation in the kitchen. All more than I hoped for when I bought my little egg factories. Seriously, if that was all my chooks gave me, I’d be happy. But, of course, they’ve given me so much more. I love their companionship, their quirky natures and their personalities. This affection and joy came as a total surprise.
After one year of caring for these darling creatures I am glad I took the plunge and don’t even mind that everyone (including me) now thinks of me as some mad chicken-lady. There are worse monikers to be lumbered with.