My first foray into being self-sustaining began with raising my own flock of chickens five years ago. I have experienced love and loss and learned a great deal from these comical, quirky creatures. They have become family pets, each chick bestowed a name to match her distinctive personality and look. Hershey our Black Sumatra is popular with the kids and our Lavender Orpington, Violet, is the boss of the flock. We give them access to green pasture and freedom to roam and they in turn give us the pleasure of their company plus the added bonus of their nutrient dense eggs as well as their manure to naturally fertilize our fields.
When we began raising hens, I chose a variety of breeds, leaning towards the exotic and rare. Most of these would be found on a livestock conservancy list as a breed that was under watch for extinction. We aim to keep these critical stock numbers growing! I find these breeds interesting for people to learn about where they originate from (usually Europe, Asia and the United State) and how they were raised throughout history. We admire the diversity in looks, temperament, and abilities (some are better foragers and others flyers and still others are better egg producers).
Currently, we are caring for a new flock of twenty with more day old chicks arriving via the postal service in a few weeks. As the earth reawakens from the slumber of winter, it is a tradition for most livestock farmers to purchase baby chicks in springtime. A new chicken mobile that will house our girls is currently under construction by our Amish friends. This coop on wheels will be moved around the farm every few days to give the chickens plenty of fresh pasture to scratch and consume. We are very excited about this new addition to Tilling Point. We’ll keep you posted on our progress!