Mark and I enjoyed a tour of the diverse Laughing Water Farm
recently, and of course I was intrigued by the free-range chickens
wandering here, there, and everywhere. We didn’t get a chance to
see the Salatin-style egg-mobile,
which had been dragged to a far pasture just the week before we came to
visit, but there were still chickens wandering around the barns and
outbuildings (along with a few eye-catching turkeys).
I’m always on the lookout for which chicken breeds pull their weight under farm conditions, so I made a mental note that Australorps
were winners there just like they are on our homestead. However, I
couldn’t quite guess the breed of the small, cream-colored hen pictured
above. When asked, Antoinette replied, “Oh, she’s a
survivor.” Yep, that’s probably the true homestead hen — a mutt
who manages to rustle up her own grub, raise some kids, and keep happily
scratching through the deep bedding in the pig barn.