As a kid, I remember chickens were a part of everyone’s life. They were easily raised and after the eggs, there was ‘chicken’. In the days of ice boxes and no refrigerators, there was no such thing as buying frozen chicken dinners. If you wanted a Sunday chicken dinner after church, and you had your own flock of birds, then you would get up early, kill and dress the chicken, and get it ready to cook and eat that afternoon.
Those were the days . . . from before the break of day until evening you could hear the sound of roosters crowing in the flocks of chickens everyone kept in their backyards. It was a pleasing and hypnotic sound that woke you in the morning and lulled you to sleep in the evening.
If you are craving the taste of fresh, home-grown eggs, check your local city zoning laws to see if you are eligible to have a small flock. Some cities will not allow roosters, as there is no such thing as a quiet rooster. Flocks of only hens make almost no noise. In our modern society, you can purchase chicken coops that range from simple to luxurious penthouses. If pens are kept clean and you have good fencing, neighbors may not even realize you have chickens in the backyard.
There are many hatcheries that sell chicks on the internet, or you can order from chicken catalogs that advertise in books like Mother Earth News, Organic Gardener, etc. There are a wondrous variety of baby chicks out there. Enjoy the Spring catalogs, browsing for seeds, and also for chickens. Keep in mind that having chickens is an expensive hobby. If you buy pre-made coops, you may find that each egg costs several dollars. However, many people believe having their own chickens and fresh eggs is worth every cent. Young chicks can be ordered during the Spring months and will be delivered by the U. S. Postal Service.
Keith Davis is the artist. His picture is drawn with color pencils. If you have questions about birds or the upcoming monthly General Meeting or Field Trip of the Red Cliffs Audubon, call 435 673-0996.