The Professional: Chicken Farm

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One is named Turkey. And another named Hawk. And I can’t forget Pig, Ginger and Wench.

Our five hens: an Ameraucana, two buff Orpingtons, a Rhode Island Red, and a Barred Rock. Each has their own personality which led to their odd names.

And on quiet Sunday mornings when typically I’m awake before my wife and waiting for the coffee to brew, I sit on the back porch enjoying the few minutes of cool during Florida summer and wait for the familiar clucking to begin.

As soon as the chickens see me they demand attention.

We’ve had them since they were day old chicks and they are now quite tame, even letting us pick them up and pet them. Friends love to bring their children for a field trip over to play with the hens and collect eggs.

Our backyard chicken experience began on a whim. My wife and I both expressed a desire for farm-like living in town and chickens fit the bill perfectly.

Then came the coop! The ultimate exercise in overkill. A buddy made a solid oak door out of some returned items in his shop. Lap siding, an electric fan, heat lamp, and a myriad of other little touches made this a coop for the ages. It’s even painted to match the house.

We’ve had the girls for a year and a half now, all the while enjoying fresh eggs. The delightful burden is that often we have too many eggs at one time, and must bestow them on gleeful friends and family.

Feed costs are minimal as well as upkeep. Food, water, mealworms, and a little attention are all that they need. In return we get delicious organic eggs that we incorporate into as many meals that we can.

And I get some early morning company.

Bacon & Cheese Deviled Eggs

• 6 hard-boiled eggs

• 2 tablespoons mayo/Greek yogurt

• 1 1/1 teaspoons spicy mustard

• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

• 1 teaspoon relish

• 1/2 teaspoon paprika

• 2 strips of Bacon

• Chives to taste

• ¼- ½ cup Cheddar cheese

While eggs are boiling, cook and crumble bacon.

Mash egg yolks, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, relish, cheese, some bacon, and paprika.

Fill egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Top with crumbled bacon and chopped chives. I like to add a pickled jalapeno slice.

Feel free to add more bacon or cheese…we do.

Tristan is a professional craftsman, furniture maker and amateur beer brewer who is currently restoring his mid-century house.

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