At least that’s how it goes on the soon to be egg-producing chicken farm my husband is starting. Today we took the kids on a road trip a half an hour’s drive out of Amman to see the farm for the first time. The chickens are growing nicely and by the end of summer we should be seeing eggs laid.
What a beautiful farm it is! We came at the same time as his partner who is the agricultural engineer on the farm and got to walk amongst the chickens and see how they are fed.
Rod thought that was pretty special, it reminded him of a train going on its tracks. We learned where the expression “chicken” came from. We walked slowly through the barracks as they all scurried away. Chickens!
We also learned that chickens are attracted to the color red and when they see it feel the need to peck, peck, peck. For that reason, red dots are painted on the perimeter of the long barracks at their eye level. They get their frustrations out on those red dots on the walls instead of on each other! It doesn’t always work, and an aggressive chicken may start a fight that will draw blood on another chicken. If left untended, she will get pecked even more after they see her blood. So they actually have a safe spray paint in the color green that calms them down and keeps them from starting a feather flying riot.
Our chickens are not yet ready to lay eggs, they are around forty days old. Another barracks is filled with chicks just a week old, 8500 of them!
I was amazed by the cleanliness of this place. The only overwhelming smell was of chicken feed, not chicken poop. That was a huge relief to me. When I was a student at Penn State University, I had to walk daily past the chicken coops on the agriculture side of the campus to get to my job at the theatre’s costume department. Walk? Oh no, you best run past that place holding your nose, the smell is overwhelming!
And the chickens are actually beautiful, dovelike creatures. Their bodies are elongated and their feathers are clean and white.
After we finished at our farm, we went to another farm where they were laying eggs. We got to take the eggs to the storage area in the back of pickup truck. And we got to take some home with us as well. Tomorrow, we will have farm fresh eggs for breakfast!
Post Script, the eggs we brought home with us were all double yolks, no joke. I found out that 1 in 1000 eggs are double yolks, but in my informal survey yesterday I would say that these chickens were laying around 5-10 percent of the ones laid at that farm were double yolk. They separated the double yolks from the regular ones and stacked them separately so I am just estimating. Another interesting fact, double yolk eggs will never produce twin chicks because there is just not enough room in that shell for two to grow to healthy chicks. Also, young hens are more likely to lay double yolk eggs which explains the high volume at this farm. They are all newly laying hens.