It’s December 25th, 2010. The chickens have made an incredible eggy comeback since the solstice. As the days got darker for longer (and especially after we moved them into their new homes) their collective laying output plummeted into the single digits per day. That’s 42 chickens not even laying one egg a week – ack! We had to do a little rearranging with our (very understanding) winter egg share holders. We were expecting a drop, but to 3 a day? That was not in our forecast. In the last few days, production has increased into steady double digits. This is how it works, folks! Production decreases steadily as the suntime shortens, and increases as it lengthens. Despite many accusations to the contrary, I’m not making it up, I promise.
The chickens have also experienced their first (very little) snowfall. Uncertain if it was safe, some chose to simply view the new landscape from their roost, out the windows and open doors of their coops. Others, being more adventurous, stood still in the snow within wings-reach of the coop door, as if cemented literally for hours. Laura and I could not help ourselves from laughing as we sat watched the fluffy little chicken statues through the dining room windows. Of course, they have now persevered through this trial. They are back to squacking and running towards me as I go to switch their water and throw them scratch. They are once again talkative and mobile, flitting about and conversing, and generally enjoying themselves in their new wintery home with both coops (!) new poultry fencing (!) and a fancy new heated waterer (!) in the trees between our house and a neighbors field.
Today a friend and I spent a lovely afternoon making textiles happen in the dining room. He was knitting, I was piecing a new quilt top and watching the chickens over the top of my sewing machine through the window. Last week I helped our creative director, zine illustrator & archivist decorate her tree. I made a little un-specified bird out of shiny red paper which she smartly turned into a chicken. Now I am convinced that if you are the tree decorating type, a chicken is quite the festive birds to decorate with. I promise you that it is not too late to make chicken decorations, hang them in trees (or on bushes, or radiators, or as hood ornaments) and send us a picture! We would love to put them here with snappy commentary. We will post chicken photos until April, but accept them whenever! Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
More updates later as we get into crop planning this January, but for now check out this amazing site our friend made & follow them on twitter “farmonic”! He came to the farm this past summer, spent a few days working and hanging out and picking our brains about crop planning, start up, being small business owners, sustainable &/vs. organic farming, the works. He has done his homework and we are super excited about trying his new site for our planning this year.