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Danita Allen Wood
Danita chickensDanita started with four breeds: a Polish breed rooster, a Chinese Silkie, a New Hampshire red, and one Australorp.
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Danita blog profile
By Danita Allen Wood
I have this possibly impractical idea of recreating the kind of farmstead where I grew up on our own little farm in mid-Missouri. I wanted to do it while my children were small, but of course, taking care of three little ones while working full time gave me plenty to do without adding farm animals.
Now that I’m an empty nester, I must be succumbing to some deep-seated desire to have critters to nurture, especially since there are no grandchildren on the horizon yet.
So, when my daughter who lives in Columbia got backyard chickens and began raving about the taste of her homegrown eggs and the baked goods she uses them in, the nesting instinct for nesters blossomed.
Then when Nina Furstenau wrote about chickens and included recipes for our flavor section in the June 2011 issue, the idea hatched. As usual with me, I’d still be talking about wanting chickens, but Greg went out and got me a coop.
Last Sunday, my son-in-law brought me four chickens (well, three actually since one is a rooster): One Polish breed rooster, one Chinese Silkie, one New Hampshire red, and one Australorp. I’ve had them a week, and I’m down to three chickens. The rooster fell victim to one of our four dogs, who now knows better.
Today, I left them outside for the entire day while at to work, and I’m happy to say I still have three chickens. I eagerly check the nests every morning, but I suspect I may have to wait awhile for eggs. But I’m having fun.
The smallest little Silkie, named Stump because she lost one wing (before her arrival here), pulls worms out of the ground, and the other chickens come try to steal them from her. Big Red is the most eager to get out of the coop every morning. And Oster the Australorp is a flyer. She went sailing all the way down our ¼-mile lane one morning, and I thought I’d never see that chicken again. But she was back an hour later.
The biggest surprise: How relaxing and fun it is to just watch them and how beautiful chickens are. We’ll have to see where the adventure leads, but so far, so good.