Texas North: now 25 times the fun!

That’s right, folks. Things were getting a little boring around here, so we took matters into our own hands. Nothing says F.U.N. like chickens, eh? Oh my gosh. It still makes me laugh. I don’t understand how these things happen.

Well, maybe I do. Saturday, Curt, [brother] Mitch, [sister] Megan, and [brother-in-law] Billy competed in an Amazing Race-style adventure race at Camp Roger. Last year, the money went towards building a huge classroom tree house. This year, all money raised goes to scholarships for kids this summer. Good times, great people. One of the events this time around was called ‘Barnyard Wrangle’ and involved herding 25 chickens into a pen. I, of course, asked what was going to happen to the chickens when the day was over and was told they were going to be released… Camp Roger style… which means left for the coyotes. Well. I figured if they were going to get eaten, they might as well come to the Farm and enjoy a couple nights of free-range bliss first. Why not. Curt, bless his heart, went right along with it.

Everything I know about raising chickens I learned from reading this book as a child. I read it again to the whole family yesterday so we could all be on the same page. Saturday night and Sunday found us internet researching for all we were worth and building a coop out of old barn wood (and I say ‘we’ because I really really helped- seriously).

[updated for the skeptics/confused/worried that we’ve lost our optimistic minds: The coop easily fits all the birds. The base is made of 2 pallets and the side walls are 3 ft. high. Yes, the roof is hinged- on both sides. Yes, they have a roost. Yes, there is a ramp for them to walk up. Yes, we feed them…free-range means they get to wander with no fences. Their in-take goes down significantly during the summer when they wander, though, ’cause they’re chompin’ on worms and bugs. We’re only half idiots here, people.]

We plan to let them wander during the day and then coop them up at night to keep them safe. Our grass is going to grow like crazy. I’ve found 2 beautiful eggs and put them in the fridge. Abe is happy as a clam…randomly scaring the feathers off them and then rolling in their poo. Curt is really good at grabbing them by the ankles and throwing them out of his garage. My Lanta. It’s going to be a funny summer.

They all have names- obviously. They won’t tell us them yet, but I suspect that will come in time. At least, I hope they open up. I’d like for this to be a friendly sort of farm. Our nieces Hailey and Marli are absolutely smitten with them and have named the rooster Peter. I hope he’s ok with that.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

21 responses to “Texas North: now 25 times the fun!

  • mom

    I expect you to use your egg scale and see just what size eggs your chickens are laying…no more bare footen in your yard!

  • diane

    this is why i love you. for serious.

  • julies chickens

    get out of town. saving the world one chicken at a time. maybe you could fashion rylie a basket and she can sell the eggs at the farmers market when she gets older. how can you say no to a 12 pound 4 year old carrying around a basketfull of eggs? it will be a fun summer. julie

  • jimmy

    Is that your tractor? If so you should send your husband to the OLD Engine Show in Buckley MI. 3rd Weekend in Aug. Bet he would love it. Huge flea market as well, that’s where my wife, dau and granddau go while I fall in love with Old tractors and Steam engines.

  • KatieKate

    Jim- we are tractor people… specifically red tractor people. He fell in love while visiting my cousins in Pennsylvania. We went to a friend’s auction last year and saw some of the most amazing steam tractors ever. So fun. I haven’t heard about the Buckley show, but I imagine it will be on the To Do list now. Thanks!

    Julie- the first thing I said was that we have to get Rylie an old egg basket. And an apron. And a wagon because she won’t be able to carry the eggs int he basket.

  • sunday

    okay first let me say that worth is going to be SO jealous. he wants chickens so bad, and this atlanta girl is not so keen on that idea. i mean seriously katie what do you do with 25 chickens laying eggs? do you eat that many eggs? will you sell the eggs? i have SO many questions about these chickens and these eggs. so would free range be organic? i am sure that i will have more for you as i think about this one.

  • KatieKate

    ah. Most of my answers are, “I dunno.” Not all of them are laying eggs…but if and when we have too many I’ll just give them away or learn to make a 10-eggs quiche.

    There’s all sorts of rules about true honest organic….but we don’t feed our lawns with chemicals and that’s a good start. They’re so easy! Go to this website…it may convince you that it’s not the craziness you are picturing: http://www.gatewaytovermont.com/thefarm/chickens.htm

    You are cracking me up.

  • KatieKate

    oh, and PS…
    We’ve spent $53 dollars so far.

  • er1ca

    be careful…
    roosters can be MEAN!

    you can sell the eggs at your little roadside stand…with some lemonade…and knitted goodies.

  • KatieKate

    maybe if I k-nit the rooster a sweater?

  • chicken julie

    is there a financial situation that others should be aware of – or are other conversations happening via the US postal service or your phone that we do not know about? oh for heavens sake if people are worried about how much money you are going to spend on the 25 new babies you have just tell them that they luuuuve breastmilk and they are being taken care of really well. and then hand them an envelope that says “chicken fund” on it. that’ll shut em up. does rylie have the book click clack moo? don’t let the chickens get a hold of it. they’ll get some nutty ideas.

  • Bonnie

    When you make that 10-egg quiche, bring it right on down to your benefactors at Camp Roger. You know we eat lunch at noon. Unless there’s a group. Then just find me in the woods. I can belay with one hand and eat quiche with the other.

  • jimmy

    The web site for the old engine show is http://www.buckleyoldengineshow.org My father was one of the original members. Red tractors on the front page that ought to be worth something.

    Teach Rylie how to make potholders to sell with the eggs etc…no one could resist.

    My grandaughter saw your site last week and keeps asking me what’s going on with the Mulders, when she calls. She is seven and growing fast.

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    if you have a rooster, how do you know which eggs you can eat, and which are, uh, babies?

  • KatieKate

    Shanna- this was my question as well, and I sure do wish a website would just put it out there plain and simple for us “huh?” folks. I searched for forever.

    The answer is this: you can eat ANY egg- possible chick baby or not. If an egg is taken right away and put in the fridge (below 55 degrees) then you’ve got omlet eggs. If a mamma sits on them for a month, then you’ve got baby eggs. A hen will lay eggs with or without a rooster’s…ahem… contribution, but she is more regular WITH a rooster around.

    Moneywise, Jules…they’re just cheap, is all. The websites I checked spent over $800 building a coop for their pet birds. $800!!! CArazy.

    Jim…Curt wants to drive our tractor to the show in Buckley. Lookit what you’ve started.

  • jimmy

    To tell “which” type of egg you have, a bright light is put behind the egg. You can then see “which” you have.

    Hay I don’t blame him, it’s only 120 miles from GR. I’ve been going since I got back to MI in 83, and I don’t own a tractor. We do have have a cottage every near there so maybe that explains it all.

    French toast with that bread is also VERY good.

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    would this then affect one’s status as a vegetarian, depending on the “type” of egg?

  • jimmy

    Oh the questions that get asked, there are many others that could pop up depending on what is “seen”. Brings back memories (some kind of gross) we got all our eggs and chickens from “a friend of the families” farm. But mostly very much fun; like an easter egg hunt once a week.

  • anna

    I would just like to ditto Diane’s comment from up above.

    Also, I would just like to put a word in the for the tractor show in Temple the first weekend in October. You know, like if you need a reason to visit texas.

    Two years ago my Grandad pulled his antique John Deere Model R and it is a thing family legend.

  • KatieKate

    The Temple Tractor show is I think what got Curt hooked in the first place. That, and the blue sno-cones, of course. I’d say October is a safe bet for us. Anna…the chickens want you to come visit! You should hear them talk about the old days!

  • Chelsey Meek

    Wow…I got me a friend with a real live farm…I’s gotsta tell these’m other Californians there’s more to life when you venture east! Hmmm…wonder if there’s any strappin’ young mens ther fer me???

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