I only cook under the most optimal conditions. Which means my parents house.
This weekend we celebrated my dad’s birthday and he gave us several NYT recipes to prepare. The first was a stuffed mushroom with white button and porcini mushrooms, castelvetrano olives, parsley, lemon juice, and oregano. The second was a spinach, rice casserole dish with smoked mozzarella.
Both recipes, and the Challah bread, called for a ton of eggs. I was lucky to find someone at work that has a ton of chickens as sudo-pets (she does’t eat them). I bought two dozen from her – containing eggs from buff orpington, golden comet, and rhode island red.
I’ve always been interested in raising a couple of chickens, for a cheap source of eggs where I wouldn’t need to worry about the conditions the chickens were raised in, their feed, or how the eggs were processed. I realized, however that I’m rather ill-informed about chickens. For one I didn’t know there were so many kinds. Even after our trip to Milburn Orchards, I thought there was the “standard” chicken and then weird, knock-offs like the guinea. A few google searches later and I’m confronted with so-called-chickens that looks more like a purebred show dog or weird genetic experiment.
Also shocking to me was that there are different temperaments and moods among chicken breeds. For example, the Rhode Island Red chicken is known for its bossy temperament, and most websites recommend separating them from smaller breeds. Conversely, the Barred Plymouth Rock is said to be an ideal pet; sweet and friendly and perfect for kids.
With this new found information, I think my best future chicken pet would be a Golden Comet. They are gentile and docile in temperament, produce roughly 250-300 eggs per year, and are great foragers – so I wouldn’t have to necessarily worry about creating an elaborate infrastructure for them or moving a cage around. They also lay brown eggs, and after almost 22 years of eating only white eggs, remains a valuable novelty to me.