Chicken Scratch

    I haven’t posted in over a year.  In addition to work, I’ve been spending my time working on my master’s, and when I have the time and focus to write, I have been working on my novel.  That was all going very well until this semester.  My developmental psychology course is quite intensive, and I rarely have time to work on my book.  To do good work, I need to be in the “zone,” and that zone cannot exist when writing is sporadic.

    But a blog can.

    Just as my fingers were itching to write, along came a project worth blogging about.


    That’s right, folks.  Chickens.  In the coming months, “scratch” will take on a whole new meaning.

    Ever since the earliest days when I longed for the homesteading lifestyle, I have wanted to keep chickens.  Growing up in a most urban area of New Jersey, I was still aware of chickens and the allure of the agriculturist niche.  Still, I’ve spent most of my time as a teacher and academic.  Gardening and experiments in self-sufficiency remain hobbies.  While I have not mastered these skills, I am as always itching to experiment, research, and try something new. 

    I like eggs, but I distrust the eggs I buy in the grocery store, even the organic eggs that must be preferable to the alternative.  I also like genetics, and animal breeding has appealed to me since I was a child dreaming of running a hamster breeding operation out of my garage.  (Didn’t happen.  Probably a good thing, hindsight being 20/20….)  Finally, I actually just like chickens!  I remember birthday parties at a hobby farm in Lawrence when I would chase around chickens just to pick them up.  I relished something in the mass of them.

    So I began where I am comfortable beginning – with a book.  I purchased Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow about a month ago and read it cover to cover… several times.  I considered.  I debated (…with myself).  I demurred.  I rebutted.  I objected.  And finally, Mark said, if I was so interested in them, I should just go ahead and get some chickens.  Ahem.  Okay, very well then.  Full steam ahead.

    There were many decisions to be made.  What breeds should I obtain?  How should I obtain them?  How many birds?  All hens, or a roo too?  How should they be housed?  How should the housing be heated?  What will they eat?  Will they be in a run, a tractor, or free range?  While I am waiting for the real fun to begin, I will occupy myself by explaining my decisions and thought process to you… in excruciating detail.  Should be fun. 😉


One thought on “Chicken Scratch

  1. Pingback: Easter Hatch 2012 and New Breeds « Scratch Cradle

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