Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't Count Your Chickens Till They Hatch

I’m no chicken, but when it comes to those feathery friends I have a love hate relationship with them. They are cute and fluffy when they are small, you kind of want to get hundreds; but when they grow up they can be feisty little buggers.  When my father was a boy he got pecked by a chicken, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting a few for his own backyard. He currently has several and their eggs are so fresh and delicious that I suppose that has made up for the pecking incident. 

As I was picking up eggs at my dad’s house I was reminded about Hardy’s Hatchery in Essex. Some of my dad’s chickens came from there. A few years ago I happened to Stop Along The Way when I saw the Hardy’s Hatchery  building. It’s a unique structure because it looks abandoned if you quickly look at it. The shingles are somewhat falling off, some windows are cracked or missing, and the Hardy’s letters are barely decipherable. The thing that appealed to me is that the hatchery abuts a beautiful yellow antique home. Since I can’t resist old buildings I pulled in hoping that a couple of neglected chickens didn’t chase me off the property. I was pleasantly surprised. I was immediately welcomed and taken where the chicks are hatched. I bought a few that day and brought them back to my dad’s. Oddly enough he had been asking for a supplier and I just happened to find one that day. We placed the chicks under a heat lamp until they got big enough to be out on their own. Although those chickens are long gone, and others have replaced them, Hardy’s Hatchery is still raising chickens and selling eggs. This tradition has been in their family since the early 1900’s. Can you imagine that! I bet they coined the phrase don’t count your chickens until they hatch.

Apparently housing chickens is a growing trend. Have you noticed more chickens in your neighborhood lately? I have noticed an increase in their presence as I drive by some homes. Sometimes they seem almost kamikaze, no fear to get close to the road in the hunt for food. Most times their feathers look really pretty against the green grass backdrop. I’m no chicken, but I think they are best in someone else’s yard instead of mine.  

If you are interested in buying fresh eggs visit:
Hardy’s Hatchery
Rt 133 Essex

If you are interested in raising a few of our feathered friends below are some helpful links:

Raising Chickens 

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