There is nothing like sitting under the summer sun sipping down a tall glass of fresh squeeze lemon aid reflecting with friends and family. Often enough you talk about your hopes, dreams, remember when's and the, If I could do it all over again's. Sit on down and pour ya' a glass!
Recently, I have been thinking about the homestead... I have been thinking about the things that I hope for my family and our children. I have been thinking about the things that I would change in regards to the farm set up, animals and crop. There are a lot of dreams up there brewin' in my noggin'!
I learned a lot from the homestead chickens. In fact my mother and I have discussed our chicken rearing days at great lengths. We both agree that the French Black Copper Marrans are pretty unique birds and their eggs are absolutely amazing. But they are very flighty and not very hearty. I had problems with them catching colds in the winter months and though they aren't really aggressive, they far from friendly!
But... remember Hijeevey? He was such a good Rooster.
I felt like the Barred Rocks were very showy. I was smitten with the idea of raising a dual purpose breed. They were supposedly a good roasting bird (mine were always used in stew) and I couldn't complain with their egg production. They had much to offer. You can sex the chicks easily by their markings and their barred feathering could be used in making flies for fly fishing... Wow, I think I might be selling myself on the breed again! But wait! Not so fast here! We actually enjoyed the Buff Orpington's the best.
The the Buff Orphingtons won my heart over because of their great personalities. I remember when I released our young pullets into the coop for the first time. One by one they all walked down the plank into the chicken run. The majority of the group that had completed the tasked and loitered around the bottom, watching and cheering for the next to make the trip. Finally at the very last, one little pullet remained. A few of the chickens lost interest and decided to do a little exploring but alas there were still a few in the at the end of the plank trying to coax the last one down. Finally one chicken jumped back to the top of the plank and walked back down. She stopped at the bottom waiting for the timid one to follow. The scared little chicken squawked and paced while searching for the courage. Again big sister jumped to the top and walked down the plank again. I envisioned her at that moment cheering on the timid sister, "Come on down", "Its so easy", "Come on in, the water is fine". Sure enough the timid sister built the courage! Wobbly she held out her wings and quickly walked down the plank. The crowd at the bottom clucked and then dispersed. I kid you not! This is a real true story!
These chickens have personality! I use to watch them for hours. Many nights I sat writing stories inspired by the personalities and adventures of our precious Buff Orpingtons.
How cute was she!?
Obviously it wasn't just personality alone that won my heart. The Buffs are also prolific light brown egg layers. Usually I had about one Buff Orpington out of the group that would go broody but I wasn't complaining. I was tickled not to have to deal with the incubator. I just really enjoyed the breed.
If I had it to do all over again... I would go with a small flock of Pure bred Buff Orpingtons. Although I lack patience I would start them off as chicks again. It is a proven fact that it does the heart good to watch things grow. Watching them grow is important in the enjoyment process. I would have a small portable coop (due to our lifestyle). The coop will be aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean. When I do it again...
I know its early and I will waiting for a while..BUT... but... dreams start from a desire! That desire transforms to an idea... a great IDEA might I add! With a little bit of thought and patience and planning, a DREAM will transform into something AMAZING... a REALITY! So its ok to dream, even if its a bit early.
This coop INSPIRES ME!
We are already talking about houses, gardens and chicken coops. ;-)