Today isn't going to be very educational, folks. I'm not even going to post pictures. I'm just going to go out of my way to be thankful.
First off, to my mom. (It's all her fault anyway!) She started getting Backyard Poultry magazine when she had no intention whatsoever to get chickens. REALLY. She still lives in the home I was raised in--in TOWN, and I have no idea whether they allow chickens or not. Then she passed it to me. Hmmm. I still lived in the big city at the time, and had no special affinity for chickens, but dang if the articles weren't rather interesting. (Also interesting is that she didn't renew my gift subscription to Western Horseman.)
Well, we started trying to buy our farm. The chicken questions came more often. I have to honestly confess that mom shares the blame with our kids. Who among you could take your kids to Tractor Supply and deny your children the opportunity of "their own pet" (and I use the term very loosely) for $1.50? Especially when you think you're getting Silkies out of the straight run Bantam tank? We had a farm. We had a coop. We had brooders (erm, sort of. cobbled together, but it doesn't have to be pretty to work).
My husband also has to take some blame. He told me it was OK for the kids to have chickens, but he said I should also get some that lay eggs. Why, I'll never know, since he won't eat eggs. So, here I come with the Rhode Island Reds, the Buff Orpingtons, and an Ameracauna. We brooded chickens in the mud room and screen porch for months.
Tracee, this is your fault too. You helped fix up the coop. Nuff said.
So here I am with a chicken addiction. I have a special order of fancy chickens on the way in March. I plan to get more. I have stared at the article in Backyard Poultry about sexing chicks so hard that I think my eyes have suffered (since I'm gonna pick up the non-exotics at the local store). I endlessly debate chicken breeds with my patient husband. I read every chicken book I can get my hands on.
Bless your luck that you're not my husband. He has to sit there, listening to me debate egg color, hardiness, expense, and looks. He has to listen to me holler every time I find a Silkie egg. And that's only the chickens. I talk his ears off about the horses too. I'm sure he sees going to work as an escape from the crazy woman he married.
Thank you to Harvey Ussery, Don Schrider, and Joel Salatin for their immensely wonderful books and articles.
Thank you to Don Ratzlaff at the Hillsboro Free Press for wanting to publish my amateur column.
Thank you to Jennifer Nemec for wanting me to blog for Capper's magazine.
Thank you to my family (yep, all of you), friends, and neighbors. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be having this much fun.
And finally, the biggest thanks go to Peter Richardson for making me promise to blog. It might take me a while, but I keep my promises. And it seems like he's steered me in the right direction.
Sleep tight, folks. I'll see you in the papers.