Chicken farmer near Creston offers rainbow of shell colours

Web Lead

  • Aug. 4, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Shelley Lamb runs Shell's Little Greenhouse on Lakeview-Arrow Creek Road.

You’ll never know what to expect when you open a carton of eggs from Shell’s Little Greenhouse — with shells of blue, brown, pink and green, each carton offers a colourful and welcome surprise.

“Everyone who buys eggs smiles. It makes them happy,” said Shelley Lamb, who moved from White Rock to Lakeview-Arrow Creek Road in 2005.

The rainbow of shells is a result of the variety of hens she keeps, many with origins around the world. Among Lamb’s hens are Brahmas (India), Araucanas (Chile) and Minorcas (Spain) — a “smart, quick” breed — as well as her favourite, the Polish top hats.

“Polish top hats are a very soft, quiet, timid bird,” she said. “They’ll approach you if they’ve been raised by hand. They’ll let you pick them up and they’re quite content.”

Six years ago, she started out with five hens, and now has about 30, which are mostly free-range in the summer. It was an easy decision for her to begin raising them, although she knew very little about doing so.

“I’ve always thought they were kind of cool,” Lamb said. “I thought, if I’m living out here, why not?”

She’s learned a lot in the last six years, and is still fascinated by her chickens’ interaction.

“As a rule, chickens aren’t as dumb as people think,” she said. “They work as a group and they’re very social. You couldn’t have just one chicken — they need another to survive.”

Their family bond is strong, too, and just as evident as with other animals.

“They are amazing mothers,” Lamb said. “They just hunt for food all day for those chicks. They have a little call they make when they find food and the chicks come over.”

One hen is a brooding hen, and Lamb enjoys putting her to work, and the sometimes surprising results.

“I select eggs, put them under her and see what comes out.”

The rooster, a Polish top hat, also plays an important part in day-to-day coop life, besides crowing at the crack of dawn, something Lamb said she quickly became used to.

“The rooster watches for danger all day long. … He gives them food and nests. He loves them,” she said with a laugh, “some more than others.”

Raising chickens isn’t a difficult task, and is one Lamb strongly recommends, particularly to people with children.

“Kids love chickens,” she said. “They’re good for people who want to get back to the land.”

And the “sweet little creatures” make excellent companions.

“I enjoy coming out and just being with them,” said Lamb. “They’re very soothing.”

For more information or to arrange to pick up eggs, Shelly Lamb at 250-428-7274.

Just Posted

Testimony wraps up in Blackmore charter challenge

After evidence from RCMP officers, crown and defence lawyers move to closing arguments.

Trust announces new $10-million eco-program

Funds will be distributed over five years, boosting health of Basin ecosystems

Property crime on the rise in Grand Forks: RCMP

Grand Forks RCMP sat down with the Gazette to talk property crime and community solutions.

Former Nelsonite stops attack on Muslim woman

Jake Taylor intervened in a violent incident on Skytrain

Highway 3B crash rears up safety concerns

RCMP reported a review of the site was launched following a July 2016 fatality

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read