Being a chicken farmer has been so much fun these past five years, but before I became a chicken farmer I was just a city girl with a dog. I had just moved to Tennessee in October 2012 and knew very few people. It was a big adjustment for Alaska (my dog) and myself but we became acquainted quickly to the new area, Kevin also helped with that. We had plenty of green fields to roam around in and cows who were curious about Alaska. She loved it!
It wasn’t long after I moved that I kept hearing my Granny talk about my great-uncle Bill (her brother) who was leaving his store bought eggs in the cupboard instead of placing them in the refrigerator.
My Granny told him numerous times that he should not do that. That eggs belong in the fridge. It’s not like it used to be when he grew up on a farm where the eggs were fresh and could be kept out. (It didn’t matter that he could have gotten sick from salmonella which multiplies rapidly and reaches dangerous levels in a short time without refrigeration). So after a while a few people in my family decided to play a prank on him.
Before playing the prank they needed my help…. So I agreed!
He was out one afternoon and just before coming back home they bought twelve baby chicks and placed a few of them in an egg carton and put them in his cupboard. When he got home they went in with him. They told him they heard strange sounds coming from his kitchen. He went and looked around and much to his surprise his eggs had hatched and there were baby chicks. He was now a proud papa of these adorable chicks. They were just a day old. He thought it was wonderful, funny and a complication that he now had baby chicks to have to care for. My Uncle Bill had a wonderful sense of humor. He knew he couldn’t keep them. He even suggested he’d eat them, but they weren’t anything but fuss and feathers.
This is where I come in to help. After he told them there was no way he could keep these baby chicks and he would have to adopt them out, they needed someone to take them to raise. I had just the right place to do so, so I took them. My mom and step-dad brought those little chicks to me when they were only three days old.
So, March 2013 was when my chicken farming began, basically because of a prank. It was also a very sad month in my life as I lost my best friend, Alaska….but that’s another story for another time. Those chickens helped me to cope as well as providing those wonderful farm fresh eggs with bright orange yokes that taste so yummy. The chickens that I received that day have since passed on but I still have chickens and love filling my coop up with different breeds. I have an Ameraucana that is one of my favorites and she lays beautiful blue eggs. I will add that Uncle Bill did not learn from this and continued to leave his eggs in the cupboard.
All in all, having chickens has been a lot of fun. I can still hear my great-uncle Bill laughing over his eggs hatching. Uncle Bill has now passed away so talking about this not only brings back great memories but will always be a wonderful way to remember how I got started with chickens. His sense of humor, wonderful personality and gentle spirit comes to mind each time I look at my chickens and I’m so grateful that he didn’t put his eggs in his refrigerator.