Santa Ynez resident raises hens herself to give away fresh eggs
Mary Kirchmaier is 78 years old and currently raising 12 chickens and 11 ducks herself.
The Santa Ynez resident has been raising hens for 15 years.
She used to raise them alongside her husband, Ray, but since he got sick, she takes care of them alone.
“We have really enjoyed the eggs. I have a lot of friends who really love the eggs,” Mrs. Kirchmaier told the News-Press. “We get green eggs and white eggs and brown eggs.”
Once upon a time, she had at least 38 chickens running around, but she said she’s trying to wind down now.
“The chickens are really pretty easy,” Mrs. Kirchmaier said. “They don’t require a lot of care as long as I have food and water in their cage. If you let them out, they peck around all day and they go in by themselves at night.”
Ducks, on the other hand, are a little more work.
According to Mrs. Kirchmaier, they’re very dirty, and she has to clean them three to four times a week.
“The ducks give us eggs, but I got those originally just for the joy of watching them swim around in the pond,” she said. “They’re great, they’re beautiful, the neighbors love them, and the kids come to feed the ducks every day. I enjoy watching that, but I’m about ready to call it a day.”
After 15 years, Mrs. Kirchmaier will soon say goodbye to fresh eggs and animals her husband loved and enjoyed. She and her husband are planning to stay on their property, but she will no longer have to work so hard to care for her feathered friends.
And the memories of ducks paddling along in the pond will always remain.