If you have never gotten a chance to sit and watch chickens I highly encourage you to do so. They are silly, spunky creatures, each with very different personalities. At the castle we currently have a flock of chickens laying fresh eggs every day that our chef uses to make delicious dishes served at breakfast and dinner daily (Breakfast open 7 days per week now!).
Chickens are a great addition to any family because they are relatively easy to care for and they give back so much. Backyard flocks are growing in popularity for several reasons; they provide eggs, are easy to take care of and maintain, and they provide a source of entertainment.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE eggs, especially fresh from the backyard or farm. They are delicious and healthy at the same time! We challenge you to compare local eggs from a farmer with those you buy in the store. Look at the yolk, how it stands up, the thickness of the shells, and of course, the taste. You’ll be shocked when you actually pay attention.
Another plus from knowing exactly where your eggs come from is……….well you know where they come from. You know what those animals are eating and the kind of environment they are in. Our chickens eat a variety of bugs and insects and are constantly on pasture to ensure they are getting proper nutrition. As well as the better taste, pastured farm eggs are healthier. They have 3-6 times the vitamin D content (which a large number of us are deficient in), 2-10 times more healthy omega-3’s (which can decrease inflammation), three times as much vitamin E, and other nutritional boosts as well.
Our chickens live a pretty simple life. They are closed into their coop every night for their safety but are free ranged during the day. The only real caring for them required is a quick check for eggs in the morning, opening the gate to let them out, and checking that their water is clean and that their food bowl is full. We do have to watch out for predators and take precautions, but we’ve been very fortunate to not have lost any chickens yet.
Now many of you are probably wondering how a little feathered creature could provide entertainment. They are very curious creatures and if they are used to being around people they will follow you. Several like to follow me into the garden and watch what I’m doing. It makes the work day a lot more fun when you have a little companion. I have to keep a close eye on them sometimes though to make sure they are only pecking at bugs and not our vegetables. We have plans to eventually build a chicken tractor so they will be able to truly help us in the garden. See THIS article for more details on that if you’re interested.
If you are thinking of getting chickens be sure to do your research as they are amazing creatures but like any pet or farm animal they still need tending to. And the next time you visit the castle be sure to look around for our feathered friends and ask us about them. We’ll be incorporating more and more of our farm (including the chickens) into our regular tours starting in the next month. Or if you’re staying with us, just ask a concierge to show you our lovely ladies or come out and look for one of our farmers. If you want to purchase some farm fresh eggs be sure and come out to the farmer’s market every Wednesday at the castle. All of our eggs go to our restaurant, but there are plenty of farmers willing to sell you some of theirs every Wednesday from 3-6pm on the castle grounds. Happy farming!
Brianna gathering eggs in the morning
Dr. Dawson chilling with the chickens……..in a blazer. Yes, it’s ridiculous…...which is why we like the picture and why he took it.
To prove they’re entertaining see below. In Honor of the World Cup……...we couldn’t help ourselves ;)