Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hoppy

We began keeping chickens in the spring of 2009. Our first flock was made up of 3 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Dominickers, and 2 Americaunas. 2 ducks joined the flock, but are now housed in a separate pen.
There was an Americauna that stood out, she hopped instead of walked. We named her Hoppy. This little girl had the best disposition, in spite of the fact that she was different. The other girls laid their eggs first, Hoppy didn't let that get her down, she knew that she would have her opportunity to sing the egg song. Hoppy was patient, and then the day arrived that Hoppy had a feeling in her little heart, and she felt the egg song rise in her throat. The other girls were so excited for Hoppy that they joined in on the song. The rooster was so excited that he found himself singing as well. Hoppy laid her first egg, a blue egg, as she is an Americauna. Hoppy was happy, but something was missing in her little hen life.


Hoppy went through her first winter, and was happy when spring and summer arrived. She began to have the desire to be a mama and care for her own chicks. Hoppy did not lay regularly as the other girls, so she moved their eggs to her own nest and began setting on her first nest. There were 7 eggs in that clutch, 6 belonged to the other girls. This happened during a heat wave, we worried that she would get too hot and provided Hoppy with plenty of fresh water, and removed the sides of her house and replaced the boards with chicken wire on 3 sides, leaving the door open. As the day grew closer that the chicks would hatch, wire covered the door, and Hoppy was let out regularly, when we could get her to leave her nest!


Hoppy was excited, and the girls peeped into her house regularly to check on her progress. Finally the day arrived, Hoppy had hatched her first egg! Hoppy was a proud mama, and waited patiently for the other eggs to hatch. Sadly, none of the other chicks survived, but Hoppy had this one little chick, he may not have come from her egg, but he was hers. Hoppy proudly sat with her baby, the other girls watched as she cared for her chick.
The two were moved to a separate pen, and Hoppy taught this chick all of the things that he would need to know in order to grow and become a successful rooster. This little rooster grew and took his place, this year with his own set of girls, as their rooster.


Hoppy continued to watch from a separate pen, as her baby took his own flock. It was now springtime, and a new set of chicks had come to the farm. Hoppy had a job to care for these new babies and teach them how to live successful chicken lives. Hoppy took her new babies and raised them well. She taught them how to do chicken things, and showed them where the best worms were. Hoppy was proud once again. Hoppy did not lay regularly, but she proved herself to be useful as a mama to many chicks. Sadly we lost Hoppy this summer, but the memory of this little hen, that had a desire to be a mama in spite of the fact that she was crippled remains with us. This gentle bird was a teacher in the chicken yard, not only did she teach her chicks, but she taught us the value of perseverance and believing in yourself. You can achieve what you set your mind to, only you can ensure that your dreams come true. Whatever your dreams may be, stick to them, just like Hoppy did. Hoppy's dream was to be a mama, and she made that dream come true.

Fresh eggs had been a dream for us, we felt like we could provide a better quality egg for ourselves with our own chickens. The girls are provided with quality foods, fresh water, and enjoy scratching around for worms. The result has been eggs that have golden yolks, and a taste that can't be purchased in a store. The eggs make baked goods taste better and provide a better texture in everything that I bake. I feel that the eggs are more nutritious, because we have provided quality food for the girls to eat.

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Banana bread is a favorite at our house, and it is simple to make.
Banana Bread
1 cup self rising flour
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until bread tests done.
We like to enjoy banana bread with apple butter, but putting a piece in the toaster oven, spread with butter is a treat too!
We have no regrets about our decision to keep chickens. It has been a learning experience for us, and we continue to learn. I share my love for animals with the family and friends that visit us. This has also given me the opportunity to share eggs with family and friends. We have shared our eggs with others, to incubate and start their own flocks. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to see others learn, and care for their own flocks. When they call and excitedly tell us about their own eggs, I remember one of the goals that we set has been achieved. Thanks for visiting us, and reading about our small flock!
Linking to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House
http://deborahjeansdandelionhouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-annual-hen-house-hop.html

7 comments:

  1. Oh, what a darling story... I love Hoppy!!!
    Chickens inspire us in mnay ways don't they? Ditto on the flavor and uses of fresh farm eggs! And, Banana Bread is one of our favoirites too! Thank you for sharing your experiences and (the recipe) in keeping chicken.... I can feel the chicken love from here! Great post!
    Deb
    Deb

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  2. Thank you so much!! It has been a wonderful learning experience!! We are glad that we had the opportunity to know Hoppy!!

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  3. What a wonderful story about Hoppy! Thank you for sharing it.

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  4. i LOVE THE STORY. We have a special chicken in our flock too. She is a naked neck chicken and she would fly out of the chicken yard everday to lay her egg in the corner of the lean to and then fly back in the yard. We named her Corner Girl. She was injured in a goat stampede and we had to keep her seperated in another area until she was healed enough to get back in with the other critters. She is so friendly now and will come over eat out of hand and chat.

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  5. Thank you Brenda!

    Corner Girl, oh how I love that name!! I am glad that she is better now!!

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  6. I loved your story about Hoppy! What a good mama she was! I really would like to have some chickens, but I have to convince my husband of that! I think you can definitely tell a difference in the taste of fresh eggs.

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  7. Yes Jane, you can tell a difference in the eggs. I know what the girls have eaten, so I feel good eating and sharing the eggs. I know that the eggs are a quality product. I find that chickens are not difficult to keep, and they are very entertaining!

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