Newsletter: Issue 7 - August 5, 2022
In This Edition
This newsletter focuses on the newest addition to our farm, our little flock of chickens, including a fun video! The website has also been restructured for new topics, such as projects, farming (new videos) and lifestyle. We also have a new blog entitled "The Scourge and Solace of Social Media."
A Little Chicken Story
Ever since we purchased the property in Hawaii and announced our intention to farm the land, we would get inquiries as to whether we were going to raise chickens and harvest the eggs. Though neither of us has experience in tending chickens, the thought definitely had an interesting appeal, especially since we want to live more off the grid. With water catchment, solar hot water and power, and a hybrid electric vehicle, not to mention the price of a dozen eggs, this would seem to make perfect sense.
Monday morning, July 25, Bianco (who we thought might have been a Bianca), shows up hanging out at the subdivision gate as we were leaving to run some errands. It seemed as though he was nestled down in some mulch looking quite at ease. We thought if he was a she, maybe there would be some eggs on the way back home. When we returned, we did not find any eggs but he seemed interested in us and came up to the truck, probably looking for a hand out of which we did not have.
Tuesday, the next day, he found his way on the property and our neighbors suggested to feed him so he would stick around. Our only reluctance was keeping him away from the house so as not to make a mess on our lanais. So taking some stale crackers, we went down the driveway to an area we call Hobbiton and fed him there where he eagerly ate. To try to confuse him as to where we were coming from and keep him from following us, we quickly took a different route, the bottom driveway back to the house. This worked for awhile but he eventually found out our hiding spot and thought he would get the same reception from us. We shooed him away and next time he just circled the house and went back down and hung out where we first fed him and waited for more crackers.
The rest of the week he was just hanging with us under the truck or tea tree being good and patient. We all were getting along just fine until the stale cracker supply started dwindling so Laura found some popcorn that she did not care for but Bianco just loved. We also would feed him leading him away from the house and he followed us to the avocado orchard, where we were thinking of making a coop if we were to keep him.
Friday morning Laura heard from a neighbor below us inquiring about the chicken and if we did not want him hanging around, they would try to incorporate him into their flock. By this time we were getting attached to each other and even though we now have confirmed he is a rooster, we wanted to let him stay. After our neighbor heard of our affections, she informed us that a friend of hers is moving this weekend and has to find a home for her last favorite 3 hens that she raised for eggs. After answering a bunch of questions we had concerning this commitment, the owner's assurances helped us in deciding to take them and she would contact us later.
Friday afternoon the task at hand was to find and level an area to prepare for the chicken coop in the orchard. The plan was to use 10 wooden pallets that the owner said she had and we could use. An additional stroke of good luck came our way that Friday from our other neighbors who wished to consolidate 2 chicken coops to 1 and would not need the other and asked if we would we like it.
Friday night, much to our surprise, we received a text asking if we were prepared for the chickens, which are more docile at night and would make for a more peaceful transition. Well, we are retired and very flexible so we met them at the end of the drive by the orchard. They arrived with a small portable coop (used to raise baby chicks) that we could use temporarily, which contained 3 large hens and 1 baby chick.
Saturday morning, guess who spotted the hens? Yep, from our lanai we could see that Bianco was transfixed ... what a lucky rooster! We brought some popcorn and watched the show until the time the little chick fell through a hole just large enough for it and we spent some time in vain trying to reunite it with its mother. It seemed ok hanging outside the coop with Bianco but we, especially Laura, were concerned about mongoose or other predators. Well there was nothing more to be done and we had to help disassemble and reassemble the larger coop so the hens could be relieved of their crowded confines. Fortunately, that process was relatively easy and we had it up and ready in no time at all.
Miki (Mee' kee)
Hawaiian meaning: quick, active, nimble
Soon after, we were able to move the small coop right into the larger one. The little chick hurriedly scampered to the new location of its mommy and we left the large door open so Bianco could check out the new digs for some time. When it began to get late, he started searching for higher ground in the trees to roost for the night, at which time we locked him out and let the hens out for a touching mommy and baby reunion.
Sunday morning Bianco hardly left the cage and paced back and forth seemingly anxious to get more acquainted with the girls Truth be told, we felt bad for him and were greatly relieved when we were told it would be ok to let him in the coop. He almost immediately hooked up with Bailey, the she hen he seemed to be most interested in. We will keep all the chickens inside the coop for one week so they can feel safe and secure, then we will open the door over time to let them eventually free range all day. We stayed until after sunset to see where they all would spend their first night together and we even harvested our very first egg. What a week! What came first, the chicken or the egg? ... Neither. The rooster, I say the rooster!!