Learning to Chicken

I’m fairly certain that “chicken” is never a verb.  But moving on…

We have chickens!  I was a weird bird-lady before I became a weird chicken-lady.  When we did our stint in Northern Virginia, I nearly jumped through the ceiling when I saw a blue jay for the first time.  That first summer I spent hours and hours watching the wildlife in our gigantic forest of a backyard.  There were cardinals and finches, jays and robins.  And the woodpecker.  Ohhhh the woodpecker.  That bastard just about did me in.  But the rest of those birdies and I were besties. Fast forward back to San Diego.  There is a flock of parrots that roost outside of my parents’ window and we have a highly active flock of hummingbirds that zoom all about our backyard.  I’ve seen some gorgeous birds, but the two hawks that live across the canyon are my favorites.  Until now.

Enter the chickens.  I’m obsessed.  I’m learning their language, I’m bribing them with yogurt, I’ve named them according to personality.  Feel free to send donations for my future asylum fees.

We had agreed to think about chickens in 2013.  We got chickens last week.  Poor Rob.  So far we only have 4 of our 8 ladies.  We are adopting grown hens from a family who are being stationed overseas.  I couldn’t bear the thought of them becoming Craigslist birds.  We bought the converted playhouse/coop, all eight hens, and the supplies from the family.  We were going to keep it simple.  Just add a roosting bar and a nesting box so that all eight birds could fit in the playhouse.  Ok, maybe we’ll add a small run “basement.”  Ok, maybe we’ll turn it into a high rise condo.  Because, you know.  We want them to be happy.  This, my friends, is what happens when your dad is a builder and your husband is an engineer.  It’s not quite finished, but it will be by Sunday.  So, now we have a chicken coop that is worth more than our house and guess what?  I’m pretty sure these chickens don’t even notice.  They are so busy eating grass and digging up worms that they have ignored their mortgage completely.  We should have run a credit report.

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So far I’m reading this book, and have learned that one does not try to take an egg from the nest until AFTER its producer has left the building.  I’ve also discovered that sometimes egg-laying is a lonely business so you should bring a girlfriend along for support.  I like to think that the ladies are acting doulas for one another.

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To date we have collected 17 eggs which means we currently pay about $100 per egg.  I’m thinking maybe I should have gotten my degree in Finance rather than Elementary Education because this is NOT a bargain.  But aren’t they gorgeous?

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Until Sunday, these are the newest members of our family.

Agnes and Rosie, our Rhode Island Reds

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Millicent and Prudence, our Plymouth Barred Rocks.

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Welcome to your new home, Girls!

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