In Colombia, having chickens on your small farm is vital and the eggs they give aren’t the main reason for having them. They are kept for pest control, particularly because they eat brown recluse spiders and scorpions.
For a while, there were no chickens at the camp, then they started having trouble with spiders and scorpions. A flock of traditional jungle type birds were brought in and the scorpions and spiders were history.
These aren’t your typical laying hens that we are used to here in the states. The chickens roost in the trees, no cozy coop to keep them safe. There are a few branches propped up into the crooks of the pomarosa trees to aid them in getting up there. They do a great job staying away from predators since they’re not penned in. In fact, there was someone that tried to keep some chickens contained in a coop and run at the camp and they were quickly eaten by ocelots that snuck in out of the jungle.
My dad has one larger chicken that was a gift from one of his workers. She’s a big girl, much larger than the smaller jungle type chickens, more of the type we’re used to seeing here. It’s funny, because everyone that visits has their eye on her for the soup pot.
One day while we were there, she decided to use the wheelbarrow as a nesting box and left us a big beautiful blue egg. We found another one later in the week.
A few days before we arrived at the camp, one of the smaller chickens showed up with 5 chicks. She was down to three after only a day or two. It looks pretty promising for these three, since they continued to show up every afternoon that week. No doubt they will have the skills to survive.
It was fascinating to watch these chickens, they retain their wild instincts and they’re completely different than the ones pecking around my garden. I suppose these traits aren’t desirable for large scale agriculture, but they certainly would be in the small garden setting. This spring I’m hoping to find some chickens that are a little more like these, I’ve found a guy locally that breeds them. You’ll hear all about them, I’m hoping it won’t be long.
Would you be willing to keep chickens with more of their natural instincts and get fewer eggs if you had chickens?Filed under Miscellaneous | Comments (23)