by Owen Voutsinas-Klose
My family is about to solve an age old riddle: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? For us, it’s the chicken. And it’s arriving sometime in early March.
My family and I have decided to raise chickens in our backyard. Three breeds of chickens will be delivered to our door sometime in the next two months. These pictures are examples of the breeds we will be receiving: the black one is an Australorp, an Australian take on the Orpington chicken breed. The golden hen is an Easter-Egger, a relatively new breed that produces green and blue eggs — something you won’t see at the supermarket! The black and white chicken is a Dominique, considered to be America’s oldest breed of chicken. Dominques were once considered an endangered species, but they are now making a comeback.
We’re excited about our chickens — but no roosters, please. Roosters are a violation of village ordinances. The Internet has provided a way for us to order our girls with 90-95% accuracy. When they arrive, they will be kept at a temperature of 100 degrees for the first week, 95 for the second and so on. The hatchery (www.MyPetChicken.com) sends them when they are one day old.
We will be busy getting ready for their arrival, transforming our garage to their chick home, called a brooder, and then to their coop at 4-5 weeks. We can expect our “pets” to start providing home grown eggs within 20-25 weeks.
We are so excited to begin our adventure that we have even contemplated starting Rockland’s first (in recent memory) chicken based 4-H program. If we are going to learn, we might as well help others start raising chickens, in what we hope will be a very fun and interesting hobby, we invite anyone in Rockland county, and especially Nyack, to join our chicken 4-H club.
If we get a whole village raising chickens, we could go back to the old days where people went out and got fresh eggs every morning instead of eating eggs from hens who live in a tiny cage with several other hens and never see the light of day. Join us in bringing the joy of raising an animal that gives back to Nyack.
See also: A Chicken In Every Pot-ty, 1/22/11