Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chickens and Eggs

I am not a farm girl. I have never been a farm girl. My mother was a farm girl, but prefers not to discuss it. As a result I am fairly clueless about farm animals. I know eggs come from chickens, and vice versa, but that’s about the sum of my poultry knowledge. It’s quite embarrassing reall
y. I find myself spending far too much time in the supermarket’s dairy aisle trying to decide what the description on the egg carton really means. Should I go with free-range, or free-run, or organic? Does the producer's interpretation of these terms match my interpretation? Am I really buying eggs that are best for me, the environment and the chicken? How on earth do I know? I’ll tell you how I know. I’ve recently stopped buying eggs at the supermarket and have started buying them directly from the farm. In fact, I've had the good fortune of meeting the chickens that provide my eggs, as I know their 10-year-old owner.

This young farm girl has been quite patient in answering my questions about her chickens, and even allowed me to take a few photos for the blog. My list of questions and her answers are below.

What do you feed your chickens? 16% layer pellets. I feed them two 40kg bags a week plus all our house scraps (but no meat)

How many chickens do you have? 43 chickens

What are you saving your money for? What have you used the money for so far? I don't know what I am saving for. I am just saving. I only use the money for chicken feed.

How many eggs do you get each week? I get 26 to 30 eggs each day.

Don't you sell some of your eggs to a restaurant? Where do the rest go? 10 to 12 dozen go to the restaurant. The rest go to customers.

Other than feeding them, what else do you have to do to look after chickens? Change their water, clean the coop, give them fresh nest hay, put them in each night and cover the food so no animals get the food and close their door so they’re safe.

Can you imagine getting this kind of service or knowledge at the grocery store? I emailed the questions to her and had an answer the same day. She even took the trouble to answer my follow-up question in a timely manner. (Apparently a layer pellet is “is kinda like grain but it is a little thicker and for chickens.”) I was impressed, but this girl really cares about her chickens, and that’s what will keep me coming back. Remember those ads that promoted milk from contented cows? Well, I know these eggs are coming from happy, well cared for chickens, and being able to support this local, responsible farmer makes me happy too.


  1. Hi there! My name is Monna McDiarmid. I am a Canadian teacher living in Barcelona, Spain.

    This is a quick note to let you know that I have written about your lovely blog in the newest edition of my blog project. Slow Blogs is a celebration of original blogs and their blog authors/photographers.You can find the blog at

    You might be interested in reading the Slow Blog Manifesto in the right sidebar... and the explanation of how I came to start this project in a post called "Read Slowly".

    Please do link to Slow Blogs if you wish!

    Thanks for your beautiful blog.

  2. Hi!
    I'm La Traductora from "A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate". Your post on the chickens "cracked me up"--no pun intended!
    Please read my post, "The Tragic Tale of the Demon Rooster". It's about my youthful adventures with a mean old rooster.

  3. Wow. Thank you both for your kind comments. I'm so pleased that you have found me here at Elusive Onions, and I hope you'll stop by and comment often.

  4. That is for sure the best way to get your eggs! I want to buy a house, just so I can have a yard and have my own egg laying hens. One day!

  5. Hi Meghan! We dreamed of having a vegetable garden when we bought our house. Unfortunately the poor soil and the wildlife don't want to co-operate. (We have deer, raccoons, rabbits, rats and a huge variety of birds) So far we haven't even been successful with zucchini. How sad is that? We keep trying though.

    Our city council is considering letting people have chickens in town (hens only, no roosters), but as we've started seeing eagles in the park next door I think we'll pass. Good news for our young egg supplier!


Thanks for commenting. Your words of wisdom will appear once they have been previewed by the spam monkeys.

Your patience is appreciated.

Laurie the Monkey Queen