19 March 2019. After 20+ days of patiently waiting, we have new chicks on the farm! Last year at this time, we were talking about getting chickens in vague generalities. Now we are watching our own flock hatch eggs!
So, what have we learned in a year with chickens? That raising chickens is a lot like Army life!
1. We are suckers for the weird ones! Put a Frizzle or a Silkie in front of us, and they are joining the flock. Easter Eggers have beards and lay blue eggs? Sold. Some might say that our flock is ridiculous looking, for us it is just an extension of what we have always found true in the Army, there is a place for everyone. No matter your background, race, or socio-economic class, in uniform everyone was green. So bring on the Bearded Frizzle Easter Eggers - there's a place for everyone at Project Victory Garden!
2. There is a pecking order! Just like in the ranks of the military, there is a hierarchy in the flock! We had five roosters at one time - can you imagine five Colonels walking around in the same formation? It was chaos! We re-homed four of them, kept the one with the cool head and approachable manner, and our command climate greatly improved!
3. It's much easier to be resilient when you have a 100 lb. dog watching your back! Like many new chicken owners, we lost several chickens to predators before we realized that we needed a new plan. So, we called in our infantry - now that we leave our dogs out whenever our chickens are out, we haven't lost a single chicken. Yesterday, when the new chicks were hatching, Leonidas, our amazing Great Pyrenees, moseyed into the coop and stuck his head in the brooder to peek at his new charges. He is bred to be a wolf killer, but he is a sucker for a cute chick. (Also like the infantry!)
All in all, moving from uniform to the farm doesn't bring much change!