Monday, June 27, 2011

A Week Of Secrets: #1

Psssst...I'll let you in on a little secret.  But only if you promise not to tell anyone.

Our family is growing.

I bet you think I'm pregnant again, right?  Wrong. 


Yes, once a farmer's daughter, always a farmer's daughter.  You can take the girl out of the country, but apparently you can't take the country out of the girl! 

Here's the story:
One day I was walking down the sidewalk pushing Julian in the stroller and chatting with the girls when I stopped, backed up and stared up someone's driveway in disbelief.  Surely I couldn't be seeing a lattice fence shielding 3 chickens in a backyard?  But, yes, there they were.

A few days later I passed by the house and there was a man outside so I approached him and asked if this was his house (yes) and were those his chickens.  He said that they were his pets.  I pressed him farther:  Do they lay eggs?  He maintained that they were his pets.  I was getting nowhere so I laid it out for him:  I want chickens.  I want chickens that lay eggs.  How do you get away with having chickens?

Sadly, it is against Toronto bylaws to keep chickens in your backyard.  Or in your house, I guess.  Yes, like many cities, people in Toronto are entitled to have massive dogs that $hit all over sidewalks, lawns and parks, but we are not allowed to keep a couple of chickens who quietly earn their keep.

Anyway, the man with the chickens sensed that I wasn't going to turn him over to Big Brother...I mean, The he brought me and the children to his backyard to meet his flock.  Well, I won't bother with all the details but I ran into him one day last week and he informed me that he and his wife had to move and would we like to have his chickens, his coop, his fence and his feed and straw.

Would I?   Yes, yes, yes!

Now (Mom) I know what you're thinking:  Surely there is a simpler way of obtaining farm-fresh organic eggs in Toronto than THIS?  Yeah, I'm sure you're right.  But this is not about simple.  It's about The New Normal.  It's about eating better and learning new skills and accepting a challenge.  It's about Unschooling.  It's about living outside the Mainstream.

The hens lay an egg (each) every day.  And they are The Healthiest eggs imaginable.  I would love it these eggs become a major source of protein for us so that we start buying a little less meat each week.  But that remains to be figured out.  I'd also like to try my Jasmine on these eggs to see if maybe they won't aggravate her severe eczema.

Here they are!

Exploring the yard.

That's Lolo on the left, Tillie in the middle and Ginger on the right.  (And my daughter Holly in the back.)

Here are Tillie and Lolo in their fenced in area beside their coop.

So.  What do you think of my secret?


  1. We have tossed around the idea of having chickens (no ordinances against here, I think), but I am not good at being consistent. As in, feeding them every day. And we go out of town at least one weekend a month, so we'd need a chicken-sitter. But I am excited to have vicarious chickens! Hope to see lots of pictures and hear great chicken stories. ;-)

  2. Congratulations! I've been begging dh for backyard chickens for 2 years. I hope you continue to enjoy them (and don't get caught :)