Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talkin' Chicken - TJ Ranch Farm Update

Our chickens are loose; they run all around. I guess now a days the term is “free range”. Our chickens, like all chickens, lay eggs; but finding them is an Easter egg hunt all year long.

In the “old days” there was ‘candling’ to find out if the egg was edible. We put our discovered eggs in water and if they float, it’s time to toss them. Sometimes we let the hens sit on their eggs and then watch her leading her baby chicks around. There will be various hens with their chicks behind, each day the number diminishing due to various obstacles in the life of chicks here on the farm. Our chickens are known for breeding fighting roosters. I’m not sure how we started with them because we don’t raise roosters, but they are tough and do survive the elements. The eggs are small and cream colored with dark orange yolks.

Periodically the roosters fight on their own. It’s their nature and although I don’t believe in adding power to their battles with sharp spurs, etc., cocks are pretty brutal and fight whether you bet on them or not. Periodically we kill a gallo (rooster) and make soup. Too tough to eat, they make an excellent broth which we freeze for future use.

We’re thinking of getting some “ponedoras”…egg layers. It takes about 6 months of careful care before the chicks lay eggs, so it’s usually better to buy older chickens ready to lay…but for now…come join us at TJ Ranch and hunt for some fresh eggs. You won’t regret it. See ya………..