Monday, November 22, 2010

Hens and chickens, chickens and hens

Can you believe that the two little white hens in the background and the two brown ones were once pets? The two black and white birds in front are laying hens who decided they aren't going to lay for a while this fall. But the ones in back are new to this farm where a friend of mine lives. They've been laying four eggs a day since they arrived. Just recently the two larger black and white residents have got the message and started up again...competition? Worried about the soup pot for unproductive chickens?

Of course with the weather still mild these birds love to escape their house and head out for greener pastures in the case of this picture they also went knocking on the side door.

Hens and chickens thrive on the bugs and bits and pieces they find around the farm, especially in the vegetable and flower gardens. Which is why the four newcomers are now with my friend. Their former owner got very tired of finding her favourite blooms in tatters, or the garden all scratched up.

My friend does a lot of flower gardening in pots - and the vegetable garden, which is extensive. has been plowed up for the winter - so if the chickens want to peck away there, they're most welcome.

Chickens - hmmm - some people in the city of Toronto have been lobbying to keep them in their backyards once again. When Toronto was a small town, or even a small city, many people kept a couple of chickens in the backyard - fresh eggs on demand. But with concerns about noise, their waste and all the rest, it became illegal.

Some people are quietly going back to the old ways and providing their households with fresh eggs every day, but not telling anyone about it. It's only the roosters that give them away after all, and roosters aren't good for making eggs, just more chickens. So I doubt the bylaw officers will find any roosters in backyard coops.

When North America was first settled, people needed chickens in their back yards...and now with so many additives to everything we eat, many folks are returning to those days - at least by growing their own vegetables and keeping chicks. Interesting how things come full circle isn't it?


  1. I can't even imagine having chickens as pets or a rooster crowing before the crack of dawn. I might commit roostercide lol.

    But you know with all the chemicals and the cost of things today it is no wonder people want to get as close to fresh as they can.

  2. You're so right Mindy, I'm not fond of chickens - but these ones were pretty cute... no rooster in the flock as far as I know - I think he may have ended up in the soup pot. And people do want to get fresh and un-chemicaled if there is such a word... love your comments by the way... great fun to read. Thanks for taking the time. b