Today is the day we have to go and pick up our chicks. We ordered 60. They are the heavy breed to be raised for meat. They will grow fast and eat a ton! We raise them every year. We call them the broilers.
The rest of our birds, who reside in the Hennabago, are the layers. They live year to year, producing eggs for us and if they're sneaky enough and go off and hide their nest, they produce baby chicks too. When we get too many chickens we just sell them off or trade with the neighbor.
Most of the pictures of chickens that we take are of the the layers. They have "personality". The broilers do not. The broilers are pretty much just eating machines. They layers, on the other hand, are funny and sly and add humor to the farm. Many of our favorite farm stories over the years involve the clever chickens.
The layers spend their days foraging and digging and hiding from the occasional hawk. They get grounded to their chicken run if they start hanging around up by the house; but it's usually not a problem since they aren't interesting in crossing paths with the dogs who doze on the back step.
Such a determined look.
Chickens can be such pests. But the goats seem to tolerate them.
Spring is nesting season in the barn. Sometimes Emma finds a hen who is nesting and puts her in a cage so that she will be safe from predators.
I always love the little black hens.