The purchase of a couple of Rhode Island Reds via Craigslist began our first attempt at keeping chickens. The endeavor ended a couple of nights ago when we found them dead in their coop. We aren't sure if it was a coon, cat, possum, or some other critter that got to them.
I really enjoyed the two 5 month old Rhode Islands that we named Tortilla and Tortellini, (because we said we would prepare them as such when the time came to eat them). As much as I convinced myself that they were not pets, I was stilled disheartened at losing them beyond the fact that they never really earned their keep in eggs due to their short stay. After buying the pair, constructing a coop, and feeding them, they really needed to lay for a couple of years to make them cost efficient.
They did, however, lay almost an egg a day each throughout the time that I had them. They laid brown to light tan, sometimes speckled, large eggs. They were delicious and fresh and I really enjoyed the eggs almost as much as I enjoyed watching the ladies follow me around the yard and peck at anything and everything.
I'm not sure if I will replace them or not. If I do, it will certainly not be until mid August when we return from our bike tour (more on that later). I guess if anything good came out of the unfortunate deaths of the Tort sisters, it is that no one has to come over for the month and a half that we are gone and feed them. Maybe I will try bee keeping instead next! (I recently went to see Queen of The Sun, a documentary featuring Micheal Pollan, about colony collapse in honey bees. I'm feeling inspired!)