I fell in love with these little buggers right away. They are a dream come true and already have such sweet personalities. Come mid June we will get the rest of the chickens to fill our coop but, for now, these two cuties have me completely starry-eyed.
Meet Boo (black/Easter Egger) and Happy (yellow/Cinnamon Queen). These two were named after a couple of Maisy’s two favorite things; she loves her music (which she calls “happy”) and she loves to play peek-a-boo right now. Some moms write such things down in a baby book, this mom names her chickens that way in order to cherish that cuteness forever. The baby in my belly will have to wait until we need to get any other new animal some day for a stake in the naming game I guess 😉
I chose these chicks because they are both friendly and sociable breeds, I like their coloring and they are labeled “excellent” egg producers. Boo will give us lots of blue/green eggs and Happy with give us lots of brown eggs.
Why get chicks? Well, long ago now we committed to buying only free range eggs. Not cage free, not vegetarian, and certainly not the $.89 eggs. We committed to these “happy eggs,” as we call them, because we believe the way the animals are treated in the industry is shameful and far from how God wants us to be treating His creation. We chose to pay $3+/dozen to honor God with our money and to not “vote” for the bad companies with our dollars – to be good stewards of the creation we’ve been given to care for. In turn, we have healthier eggs to eat (the happier the chickens are the tastier and more packed with good protein and other goodness the eggs are). That leads into why I want chickens.
For starters, I should note that I’ve always loved animals. My parents were gracious enough to let me take home EVERY class pet. We had dogs, bunnies, cray fish, lots of other fish, hamsters, and lizards. I loved it!
In college, I jetted off to Africa for 5 months and my whole world was shaken and torn apart in every way you can imagine, for the good and the bad. When I came home I found myself floundering in a land consumed with consumerism. I couldn’t have named it then but Africa is where God started stirring me to recognize my role in stewardship and take a stance with my lifestyle and my money.
A year or so later I took a trip to visit my dear friend Nicole, another study abroad student whom I became eternally bonded to on my Africa stay. During my stay she had to attend some classes so I had some time to myself during the day in her apartment. One of these days I plucked The Better World Shopping Guide #5: Every Dollar Makes a Difference off her bookshelf. How was I ever to guess that a simple trip to visit my best friend could revolutionize my world. Upon reading this book I promptly purchased my own and started straight away. I was so excited to have a practical way to simplify my life and support only the best companies with my dollar.
The final crux in turning my attention towards stewardship and changing the remaining corners of my life was watching Food, Inc. In December 2011 Josh randomly proposes we try being vegetarian. For me, it stuck. Especially because shortly thereafter we watched Food, Inc. I was mortified to learn and see how animals were treated, only to be slaughtered and sent off to grocery stores.
Because of my convictions a new dream started taking deep root in my heart, a dream to homestead – gardening, urban chickens, goats, compost, fruit tree, berry plants and the like. The closer the produce and goods are to my backyard the better it is for me and my family but the better it is for our environment too. No harmful gases are emitted into our air from shipping, no packaging needed, I’m creating less waste by creating and using compost… just to mention a few.
These chickens will take a couple of years to pay for themselves (well mostly just for the coop) but it’s worth every penny. The birds themselves make my heart so happy, their poop fertilizes my garden, the kids love them, they will give me lots and lots of eggs, they eat all the bad bugs out of my garden, and the pine shavings I have to change out every now and again make for a great “mulch” in my garden or compost fodder. Oh, and they are the easiest pets I’ve ever owned!
If you want to turn a corner and learn about how to be a good steward you too can choose only the free range eggs at the store (or possibly have your own coop!) and/or pick up the book The Better World Shopping Guide #5: Every Dollar Makes a Difference and/or watch Food, Inc. Open up your life and let God change you in a new, amazing way!