A Blue Egg, a Chicken Tractor, and a Watched Pot

Ever stare at your tea kettle or your pasta water? Even though you’re not supposed to, because that particular old wives’ tale happens to be true. It’s as if the beams of expectation from your eyes are a cold fog that suppresses the bubbles of steam you so eagerly want to see.  Just by looking, wanting, yearning, you smother it.

Sometimes homesteading can feel a little like that.  Not always, of course. If toiling on the land were equivalent to watching the pot, there would be no point in working, no visible results from your efforts. And of course that’s not true. The hard work does produce results, but damned if it isn’t slow sometimes!

I know for a fact that my capacity for patience and perseverance has greatly expanded since I left the city and moved to the woods. I am reminded when city friends come to visit and, though we remain alike in so many other ways (musical tastes, political views, etc.) I have become a little quaint to them, while they have become a little frantic to me.

But still. Sometimes things happen too slow! I can’t help it. I want to think it and then have it be so. Maybe a little sketching and a budget drawn up in between but that’s it. Ready, set, GO! All of this nonsense with growing seasons, gestation periods, and of course having to build things ourselves, they’re a real drag on my progress.  It seems eons ago that I decided I wanted to have a dairy goat so I could make cheese and have raw milk. More than a year ago for sure. And tons of work went into it. Rebuilding the barn. Learning about goats. Finding a breeder. Choosing a doe. Choosing a replacement doe when the first one died. Waiting for her to come into season. Waiting for her to get bred. Waiting for babies to get born. Waiting waiting waiting. I mean SHEESH.

But unlike the pasta water, these projects can’t get set on a back burner if they’re ever going to get done. They need constant tending. Maybe not frantic tending, at least not all year long. But you can’t do a little work and then run off to some new thing when waiting for results gets too boring.  Just because the bees didn’t work out this time doesn’t mean we give up on bees for good. Just because we are doing broilers this year doesn’t mean we don’t also have to plan (and plant) the garden.

Now, of course my whining is about 97% sarcasm. I absolutely love my life, and the slowed-down pace has been so good for me.  I am healthier, happier, and more conscious than I have ever been. I have so much! I am so lucky! But sometimes the excitement necessary to get a thing started produces a side effect of antsyness to see the thing done.  It can’t be helped.

And then, all of a sudden, when you had almost given up, the water starts boiling.

new blue egg

After months and months of feeding a bunch of freeloader chickens, we are finally getting eggs from all of them. Even the Ameraucana holdout.

And in the same week I did the broiler budget, and looked at dismay at my calculations for the cost of building a chicken tractor – not to mention wondering when on earth we’ll have time to do it – this one shows up on Craigslist for $40!

All we need to do is add a partial roof and some wheels and we're in business!

All we need to do is add a partial roof and some wheels and we’re in business!

Funny how one blue egg and a clap-trap arrangement of wood and screws and chicken wire can set a soul on fire, but I will gladly accept that it is true.

16 thoughts on “A Blue Egg, a Chicken Tractor, and a Watched Pot

  1. Nice Craigslist find! I couldn’t agree more… it is so frustrating when non-farm-oriented folks don’t understand the very slow nature of farm progress, and that it really is progress and not just slow. So much figuring, money spent, more figuring, trying to do it, and then doing it over again, is really hard work. Glad you are getting some eggs now!

    • Thanks! I am so excited about the tractor. I even love that it’s painted green. I wish I had a picture of how ridiculous we looked driving down the freeway in our tiny, ancient pickup truck with that gigantic thing tied in the back!

  2. Dang, that’s a monster egg! Were those pullets, or was she just on a molting break? Nice find with the chicken tractor… what did you end up deciding to do about the broilers? I suppose no matter what feed you go with, they’ll be better since they’ll be eating fresh grass and bugs out in the sunshine…

    • It is a big egg, isn’t it? My last ameraucana laid big eggs too. The barred rocks started small but they’re gradually getting larger. I got three pullets last year in July, and they are just starting to lay now. My two old girls lay in fits and starts but they’d taken the dark days of winter off, so no eggs at all for quite a while there. As for the broilers, we are going organic! The fella felt strongly about it – for him it wasn’t even a question – and so that made the ‘choice’ pretty easy. I am happy about it. We’re also going with Freedom Rangers, rather than a heritage breed. I think if/when I want a mixed meat and egg flock I will check out some heritage breeds, but this time around I just want a freezer full of big fat chickens!

  3. Congratulations on the chicken tractor and the eggs! Our Americaunas are freezing their feathers off up here in Canada and just getting through the winter. I’m hoping we can look forward to some eggs, finally, in the spring. This post really resonated with me.

  4. Such a great point about what seems like the never ending waiting, when in reality all it takes is a couple things before it’s off and running again. Good to read you made a decision on your meat birds.

  5. I find this touching. What a journey and so many long-awaited blessings… that end up showing up as a surprise in a way that grounds you right where you want to be. Patience and perseverance are as essential as durable, comfortable overalls! You have a beautiful life and I am grateful to happen to have a job for which I must write and read and come across real, beautiful accounts of a life well lived. Thank you.

  6. Pingback: Weekend Highlights – Noteworthy Articles by Fellow Bloggers – February 23, 2013 | Granny's Parlour

  7. Yep. It’s true. I don’t remember having ADD when I was a child, but I think I developed it living on a farm. So many processes for things to happen, you have to keep many irons in the fire to keep rewards coming. Otherwise, it’s just work with no end in sight.

  8. hurray for one blue egg Sara!
    Life has a funny way of not coming to a boil or boiling over.
    If you really want to kick it into gear and watch it boil over while you stand agog attempting to put the lid on and turn the heat down, may I suggest throwing a child or two into the mix ;)
    Spring’s a-cumin’ and the pot will really begin to boil. Nice to be getting eggs again right? We had freeloaders from mid autumn til recently I had to buy eggs TWICE. Nice to see your projects humming along.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s