Q: Hey Katherine, how come you never blog about chickens anymore?
A: Sorry, I just don't think of it. But I'll write about them tonight, okay?
Yes, I still have chickens, and just as much as for the last several years I think about this fact and ponder what the heck I'm doing. I sold off a lot of the breeding flock last spring. Half? A third? I don't even remember. A lot of darn good birds. I've only heard from one person who bought them, so I sincerely hope the rest are all actually raising something.
Anyway, that left me with about 25 adult breeding stock birds, which is a pretty okay number to deal with. It's as few as I can have without either 1) getting rid of entire color varieties, which I thought about, or 2) selling out completely, which I also thought about but it made me super sad.
I hatched somewhere around 75 babies, maybe more? I've already taken probably half of these to auction, and many more will go in the next few months. Since I sold eggs in the spring time, I didn't hatch til June/July. Therefore I have NOTHING to show this fall, not that this comes as a surprise to me. So I will not be showing this fall. I know that show season here in CA starts this month... next weekend I think? I won't be there. And that doesn't bother me one bit. A few years ago it did, but now it's so far down the list of things to do with my life that it's all but entirely off my radar. I don't even know where the various National meets are being held anymore. Not a clue. And when's the Standard coming out? Heck if I know, last I heard it was "very soon" but I'm not holding my breath.
What changed things for me? The year off from shows during the END outbreak started the ball rolling. Political crap in what used to be "my" club exposed some things I didn't like and didn't want to be a part of. Other things took priority, as it should be. I found life outside of chicken shows. :-D
That said, I will attend somewhere between one and three shows in early 2011.
The birds are happy, well cared for, well fed, I'm just not exactly doing much with them. Here's a pic I took tonight. See, way too young to show! But one of my favorite ways to spend some time in the evening is still sitting out in the chicken coop with a handful of grain, "picking out my champions."
My focus, what little of it is left, is on the BBReds. There are actually four (gasp, wow!) pullets with decent color this year, we'll see how type turns out. That's a project I'd like to keep dabbling with if circumstances allow, but as time marches on I'm increasingly wanting to stretch my own wings and see where the breeze blows me, and I've realized that if I had to, I could let the chicken thing go if the right hands were there to receive them. I think that's why I'm still holding on, because I hate to see my 20+ years of hard work slip away, but I DO still want to perfect the BBReds. But I know that the chickens will not hold me back if the chance comes along to go do something wild, live in a cave in Borneo or something (actually that doesn't appeal to me). I imagine there are enough people out there who have been following my color genetics work that someone would step up and carry it on. Actually, it might create something of a feeding frenzy if I had birds to sell anyway. ;-) Anyway, until that day comes along, yes I still have some birds, and sure I'll keep showing a little bit. :-)
So there you have it. A blog about the chickens. Still a part of life. Just not the part that life revolves around anymore.