My romantic partner is a winemaker by trade and his commute from our floating home in Portland was exhausting. When a friend offered to rent us the extra farm house on his vineyard estate that would effectively cut his commute in half we jumped at it. I thought I would come and go between the country house and the city house as I work and study in town, but with all the space I kind of jumped in full bore with my "visions of farm animals dancing in my head". As I work part-time with a wonderful plant nursery that supports urban homesteading and was the first to sell chicks to backyard flock keepers in Portland proper, I realized that I didn't have to just admire the chicks, I could start raising my own. A couple of years before we lived on the farm, I had organized a "Pullet Days" with a valley farmer to sell 'started' pullets (birds that are ready to be outside) at the nursery. It was a huge hit and gave me the idea that with our country spread, I could do the same.
|Newly hatched Seramas & White Faced Black Spanish|
Pistils Nursery receives almost one hundred different breeds/varieties of chickens during their chick season and I wanted as much first hand experience with as many breeds as possible since most of the birds we sold I only had exposure to during the first days/weeks of their lives. Though I did have the benefit of knowing a half a dozen adult birds as there has always been a mixed breed flock of bantams and the occasional standard breed living there. My focus for raising started pullets was on breeds I fancy, especially rare breeds, with a few more common companionable breeds thrown in. Silkies are hard for me to resist; and most folks love Ameraucanas. Some breeds I acquired were so rare I had to hatch them from fertile eggs I purchased from far flung farms. I think it is of vital importance to take up the mantle of preserving rare breeds. They in existence due to the manipulations of us humans to achieve a variety of agricultural goals from egg production to disease resistance. I feel strongly that it is the responsibility of our species to honour the efforts of others in creating these creatures-- as well as respect for the creatures themselves- to provide a varied genetic resource. Heritage and rare breeds are infinitely interesting historically, and often staggeringly beautiful.
|Elgin the Belgian & Gideon - Blue Mille Fleur OEG|
|Juanita - Blue Splash Andalusian + Amelia - Welsummer|
|We have names too....|