Tag Archives: Raising chickens

Chickens

16 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

When I was a little girl, I had a playmate whose family had chickens in a chicken house. Her name was Patricia, and we always had fun playing together. One day Patricia and I had an outdoor tea party. She had a trained chicken that would lie on its back so we could pretend to have baked chicken for dinner. 

My family has always been chicken people. Bill and I have never owned them, but my Mother and Dad had them several times, as did my Granddad and Grandmother.

Several years ago, my parents lived in Ft. Bragg, California, in a small farmhouse. Dad had his salmon boat, and both liked being close to the Pacific Ocean. Mother liked to beach-comb while Dad was out pulling in the shrimp. While we were there, Mother took me out to the shed where the chickens were kept and let me watch some eggs hatching. One took a long time, and Mother decided to help it out. In my ignorance, I told her that I had read that you shouldn’t help them out. She knew better, but she did what I asked and let the egg alone. It turns out that I was wrong, and she was right, and the poor little fellow never made it out of the shell. Some things are better left to the experts. 

When I was a child, my Grandmother kept chicken in a small chicken shed near the detached garage. When I stayed with her and Granddad, she let me go out and bring in the eggs. One day they taught me how to turn a live chicken into a baked one. It wasn’t a lesson I’d ever want to repeat, but now that I’m older, I know how important it was for them to give me the skills they thought my family and I would need in order to survive. Back then, there were no superstores as we have now, and they ate whatever they could raise or what they could get from a small general store. They had no idea how far from the concept the future would take us.

Grandmother also taught me, as did my mother, to learn to cook and clean. My mother, who was busy with the restaurant she and dad owned, paid me a dollar to iron a basket of clothes for the whole family every week. My brother and I worked in our restaurant doing dishes and taking out the wooden boxes full of empty pop bottles. Once in a while, I was allowed to fry hamburgers for sandwiches.  At that time, people were eating more beef than chicken. 

When our son grew up and got married, he and his wife had two children. Eventually, they moved to a place with acreage and used the shed for a chicken house. The family had gone full circle, except that they no longer processed their chickens for food. They just gathered the eggs and used them, and shared them. Once or twice, when they went on vacation, they brought three chickens over to our house. Our son arrived with a trailer attached to his SUV, and the men carried a big cage out and put it on the back porch. We let the chickens roam in the yard, and they cleaned up all the bugs they could find. When the sun started to go down, the chickens wanted back in their cage. Their way of showing it was to jump/fly into our kitchen window. We’d go out and pick them up and carry them in and put them to bed. Their water bowl was on the porch with them. When we woke up in the morning and took them back outside, there was sometimes an egg in the cage and sometimes one or two lying in the flower gardens. Eggs don’t get any fresher than that. 

  At one point, eggs were deemed to be bad for people. We missed them, and are now glad that their benefits have been “discovered.” Often, scientists warn us about certain foods, such as eggs, and oil and we all obey like sheep, but sometimes I take a look at the mandates and wonder why God put those things on earth if he didn’t want his children to thrive on them. We humans don’t think like God thinks, so it’s a good idea to be familiar with our Bibles so that we will know how he wants us to live. 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Our Chicken Little Experience

5 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

It was sometime around 2008 and our son, Billy, and his family lived on 5-acres in rural Orange City, where they had started keeping chickens for the eggs.  Every once in a while they would get overstocked with eggs, and we would be the lucky recipients.    Billy had gone to great lengths to protect his chickens with a nesting shelter and a chicken coop, but over the years his flock had been diminished by foxes and the occasional bobcat.

At the time of this story he only had two of the Road Island Red chickens left.  They wanted to go on vacation, but he was afraid that if he let the chickens run free, a fox was sure to get them.  So he asked DiVoran and me if we would keep them for the 2-weeks they would be gone.  He assured us that they were well-mannered and would be no trouble.  We said, “Sure” since our backyard was fenced and backed onto a wildlife area (no neighbors to bother).  Billy brought over a nice “portable” coop for the chickens to sleep in, and we set it up over papers, with food and water on our screened back porch. Every morning we would let them out into our backyard, with food and water, and they pretty much took care of themselves.  They did a dandy job of free “Pest Control” in our back-yard.  We were glad for that, but I’m not sure how happy the birds were about it.

Now this is the amazing part of the story.  Every evening around dusk, the two chickens would let us know it was time for them to go to bed.  They would jump up on our kitchen window sill and peck on the window.  I kid you not!  Just so you would believe me when I told you this story, I took this picture of them on our kitchen window sill looking in.

DiVoran and I took turns going out and picking them up off the window sill, and carrying them in and putting them in their coop.  They didn’t seem to mind being picked up or handled.  They didn’t try to struggle or fly away.  They would just let us pick them up and carry them to their coop.  We would give them more food and water, and place a blanket over the coop.  They were quiet and happy all night. 

We enjoyed watching them scratch around the yard as if it was a new area to investigate every day.  We also had a good time each day looking for the day’s cache of eggs.  It was like a daily Easter Egg Hunt.  It was quite a challenge since they never seemed to lay them in the same place two days in a row.  It was a fun short-term experience, but DiVoran and I both agree we wouldn’t want to do it as a living or even as a hobby.

—-The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

 

Bill

 

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

%d bloggers like this: