Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chickens and Children

Last May our family decided to get chickens. We were buying our eggs from a nearby farm and since I bake so much in the summer at a local farmers' market in Vermont, we thought it would be a good idea to have our own chickens, therefore our own fresh eggs daily. After using what I needed for baking, the extra eggs the children could sell at the market or to neighbors.
Summer went by quickly with the excitement of doing chicken chores. As you can guess Vermont can get very cold on winter mornings. Most mornings the children wake up, have breakfast and then are supposed to check on the chickens. We first go through many excuses why they can't get to the chickens; "I need to go to the bathroom."(which can take up to 15-20 minutes) or "It is too cold out, so they probably aren't hungry and of course they can't lay eggs in this temperature." or "Why should I go feed the chickens, we fed them yesterday?" or "I feel really sick, but can I have pancakes and sausage for breakfast."
Once the children finally get outside, chicken chores almost become a game. Any transportation device assists in making being outside pleasurable, like a sled to slide down the pathway, a child's tractor which they push themselves around the yard and then eventually to the chicken coop or the tractor can carry a bucket of water to the coop, and of course bicycles in the summer. Mind you it is only about 100 yards from the house to the chicken coop. Then there is a race to collect the eggs. The eggs don't fair too well on those days. On occasion only a few eggs make it back to the house because of mishaps- "Well I didn't see the step and I fell and cracked seven eggs." "There was too many eggs and I needed to put some in my pockets and when I got back on my bike, I forgot that the eggs were in my pocket."
Anyway, we have the day to day trials and tribulations of having chickens. The best part of it is that we have fresh eggs any time we want.

6 eggs boiled and chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped celery
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of relish
Salt and pepper to taste

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