Sunday, June 9, 2013

What a week.

Since summer finally decided to arrive in Alaska, it has been an almost comical hustle and bustle around our little rural community.  Everyone has been in frantic mode to get planting and outside/warm weather projects started and done.  We have been no exception.  Couldn't even tell you that it was very deliberate.  Little ideas flutter across, decide to land, and before you know it you are surrounded by heavy equipment, tools, wood, shovels, mosquitoes, dirt deliveries, dying plants, hungry new pets to take care of, hungry kids .....

Anyway, last week this little corner of our world went from this:

to this: 

 Our new house for the chickens and ducks.  It isn't quite ready for them to move into, but I'm hoping it will be in the next few days.  
:: Bry and Ever working on the inside ::
 In other bird news, I have learned about a new facet of hen-keeping.  The doomed egg-eating chicken.  Unfortunately, one of our hens was eating not only her own eggs, but the other hen's as well.  I had hoped that this problem could be fixed, but after consulting my local chicken expert (where I got the birds from), he advised that I eat the chicken for dinner.  From what I described, this hen was pretty "into it" and was not going to be healed of her addiction.  And apparently it can be a contagious behavior, so it needed to be resolved quickly.  Lucky for me, I have a sister-in-law willing to go on this adventure with me as it was definitely a two-rookie job:
:: Step 1 - Catch chicken.  Step 2 - Kill chicken.  Check & Check. ::

:: The kids getting a science lesson on chicken anatomy.  Me holding the egg we found inside.  So very interesting. ::
Johana came over armed with her Guide to Raising Chickens and a can-do attitude (she is also embarking on chicken keeping for the first time this summer too).  
Let me just also say, I was not anticipating killing any of our birds when I got them.  I am a soft farmer :)  I just wanted to enjoy them with the kids and have eggs here at home.  And just in case you were wondering, the kids were sent inside for Step 2...
Anyway, to make a longish story shorter, between Johana's book (which included seven ways to kill a chicken), a quick call to Dad & Maggie, and the internet, we accomplished the task.  It was challenging and a bit gross, but super interesting as well.  Did you know chickens, similar to humans, are born with the exact, finite number of eggs that they will lay during their lifetime?  We found not only her next intact egg, but multiple yolks at varying stages and sizes.  I was so thankful to have help in this endeavor, and I'm sure Bryan was so thankful that he was not home for the circus of it all.

It had been such a full day.  These photos were from earlier in the morning.  It's that time of year again already ....

:: It's good to have a friend. :: 
:: Low buzz ::


  1. Oh my goodness. An egg eating chicken? WHAT? And was the egg you found in the chicken one that was about to be laid or one in her stomach? Can a chicken swallow an egg? Or does it peck it to pieces and kind of drink/slurp it? So so weird. I can just imagine it was quite the ordeal, especially with four wee ones hovering around the excitement! You guys are real farmers now. :)

  2. Hey Emily!

    Yes, it's crazy. I had no idea what these chickens were capable of .... Anyway, I see how that was confusing now. They will pick it to pieces and slurp it up, sometimes I think the first time is an accident if an egg happens to break or get stepped on and they get curious. The whole egg was one that she would have laid later that day (and then tried to eat I'm sure!) ... we got the last laugh on that one ;)