Back from the Farm
This past weekend, we headed out to visit my brother, who is now living outside of Asheville, NC on a small farm.
The day we got there, they'd just received a shipment of adorable baby chicks. It was, I think, very good timing on our part... even though it was totally unintentional. There were about thirty new chicks, which just about doubled the size of their flock.
Now, I know a lot of people who have said that chickens are disgusting, stupid creatures. I suspect these people have only met chickens over-bred for meat or egg production... that have probably been living under incredibly unnatural conditions. The chickens I spent time with this weekend had free run of about five acres, not all of which was pasture. They could hang out in the barn, but preferred to wander. They had a lot of personality. Some of them were very, very friendly:
The eggs were wonderful. Right now, they are getting about two dozen a day from the chickens, plus a few every now and then from the geese and ducks.
In addition to the birds, the farm has some other livestock. Here's a picture of my brother with one of the two horses:
There were also some lovely (if vaguely creepy) Icelandic sheep. The sheep were surprisingly graceful, and seemed to enjoy playing with the dogs (they chase each other back and forth). I think it will be a few more months until they are ready to be milked. Then, I believe, there will be cheesemaking. I am researching now so that I can be fully prepared to offer unsolicited advice. If anyone has any suggestions on sheep's milk cheesemaking, let me know.