I watched the chickens break up goat manure today and eat something in it. I can only assume it was worms or eggs, though the goats have been heavily wormed. And to think I eat those eggs, yuk. They scratch the ground looking for tasty tidbits and at the same time loosen the soil. They can get carried away doing that to the point that they expose the roots of plants and the plants die. I want to grow more gardens this year, but the chickens will have to be fenced out of the gardens or they will eat the seeds and sprouted seedlings. They scratched up the potatoes last year too and I constantly had to hill them. They do more good than harm and it is up to me to keep them out of places I do not want them. They are just being chickens.
Then when their time has come, they become chicken soup. They are too tough to roast unless they are brined over night and slow roasted for about 5-6 hours, but they make fantastic soup. It is rich and flavourful and full of yellow fat which is very high in vitamins and good things.
I used to have a phobia, a terrible true phobia of all birds, but it was a little sick chick that cured it. I had to handle her many times daily to help her live and she did. At first just to pick up a newly hatched chick, I had to have gloves, coveralls and a hat on and I still felt I was going to die, especially when the chicks fluttered, but slowly, I got more and more comfortable and I can go into a chicken coop today with just a morsel of fear left, just a tiny tiny bit.
My chickens are pretty healthy. They are fed non GMO foods, whole grains and peas and they get the fat from the raw dog meat. Occasionally they snack on the dog meat too, when the dogs are sleeping or done eating. In the winter it is just survival mode for most critters on the farm, chickens included, but when the snow is gone they lavishly bathe in the dirt and scratch and hunt for bugs, snatch flies in mid air and even sit on eggs and raise more chickens just like themselves - a self perpetuating species. Aside from the copious amounts of stinky poop they make, they are pretty decent creatures and I am glad they are on the Fat Ewe Farm.