- Get Our Free Newsletter!
- For more than 130 years, GRIT has helped its readers live more prosperously and happily while emphasizing the importance of community and a rural lifestyle tradition.
- Subscribe Today!
We currently have 34 chickens ranging in size and color. Some of our chickens are standard layers while others are more delicate and prefer to grace us with an egg only on their terms. Many of our chickens are named after prominent authors who have agreed to be interviewed (like Judy-Blume, Chris-Bohjalian, and Meg-Cabot) and some of our birds are named after famous pairs, like Tom and Jerry, and Currier and Ives. One bird; Charlie, ended up living in our house for six months as a result of delicate surgery performed on her when she was only days old. Diversity in the flock is something we continually strive for. It’s how we learn our lessons and apply them to our lives.
As the mother of six kids, I have always used real-life experiences in order to teach my children life lessons. As a journalist, I often wrote about our family’s experiences. I wrote a long-running column for The Nashua Telegraph: Simple Thrift. It described simple, real, honest-to-goodness things you can do to save money, because after a while even pennies tend to add up. I’ve also written several newspaper series. One chronicled my decluttering adventure where over the course of a year my kids and I removed over 5,000 pounds of unwanted stuff from our house. Another series described seasonal thrift saving tips and ideas. One of my readers challenged me to get chickens as a way to be thrifty and since then, I can’t imagine chickens not being a part of our lives. On my blog (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) I currently chronicle the experiences we have while raising backyard chickens as a source of food (eggs only – I refuse to eat anything that has been given a name). What had started off as a challenge to be thrifty has turned out providing endless hours of entertainment, as well as valuable life lessons and stories that we are more than willing to share with others.
by Wendy EN Thomas from Lessons Learned from the Flock Melissa Caughey of Tilly’s Nest recently gave a great list of tips for visiting a poultry show. Here are some additional tips you might not initially think of, but that will help make your experience a bit more enjoyable and um, survivable: […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas from Lessons Learned from the Flock It’s the second time I’ve noticed this in a bird in my flock. Somehow, part of a toe seems to be missing. It’s odd because I’ve never seen any of the birds limping, and I certainly haven’t noticed any kind of trauma or injury, and […]Read more »
Just a few days ago, I wrote about our little Silver Sebright, Isabelle, and how she was dying. Isabelle had developed a solid growth on one eye (it looked like a large wart/tumor that was completely shutting her eye.) She went around for a while with the use of one eye and then her other […]Read more »
By Wendy E. N. Thomas We’re heading into the colder months and new-time chicken owners are already starting to have anxiety attacks. “How, oh how will I be able to keep my babies warm?” they fret as they look into expensive heaters and even sweaters knit for chickens. Chickens have always known what to […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas from Lessons Learned from the Flock A while back, I wrote about a chick of ours that had grown at a much faster rate than our other chicks (odd duck in the chicken coop.) I had wondered if indeed she was even a chicken (some people (including myself) thought she […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas from Lessons Learned from the Flock “Mom, I think one of the chickens was killed,” said Addy when I had asked her to let the chickens out of the coop. It certainly was a possibility. We let our chickens free range which means we trust them to go back into the […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas of Lessons Learned from the Flock We have an odd duck in the flock. This spring we picked up 12 new chicks, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Barred Rocks, 3 New Hampshire Reds, and 3 (what we thought were) Araucanas. One of the Araucanas, however, was lighter than the rest, she had […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas of Lessons Learned from the Flock For some people, chickens are just chickens, a way to get food (both eggs and meat.) For others though, chickens have made a very important connection between what we eat and how it is made. When you realize, (and I mean finally understand) that it […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas of Lessons Learned from the Flock Jan Brett was at the Northeastern Poultry Congress this weekend. She was showing her birds and in her spare time, she gave an art lesson and signed copies of her new book “Cinders.” I caught up with her at her stand (she was selling some […]Read more »
by Wendy EN Thomas of Lessons Learned from the Flock Warning, this post is about killing a chicken. Not everyone feels comfortable talking about culling a flock member, but sometimes it has to be done. Which is why I taught myself to use a killing cone, if I’m going to teach workshops on raising chickens, […]Read more »