Moving to a rural community, my husband and I decided to attend a local Chicken Swap and imagine my surprise when I heard, “Hey Lady! Have you ever held a baby rooster?”
I knew this was a place where if you had an extra rooster or you needed or wanted a goat, you could find one.
The kid said if we took the rooster and the hen that we could borrow his crate for a week. As they fell asleep in my arms, I gazed at my husband and $30.00 later, we were carrying them to the truck.
On the way home, we were hungry so we stopped for fried chicken. I felt so guilty. We nervously laughed as we carried the fried “cousins” in the front seat while the 3 month old chicks were passengers in the back.
Over lunch, we concluded our need for a small coop. Back to the “Swap” we went to get the $300.00 coop for up to 6 chickens. That would be plenty of room, or so we thought.
My husband tells his fellow workers of our new additions to which one man tells him, “that rooster’s gonna’ kill that chick! You need more than one chick!” He calls me and says we better get a few more chicks, so I called to do just that.
It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and “the chicken lady” says, “I’ll just pop ’em in your backyard.” I’m fine with that and my husband will be home to help me, so I’m not worried. “And I’m throwing one in for free!” (How nice of her, I thought!)
That evening in the rain, we chased them all from the woods into our newly cramped coop. (By the way, our “free”chick, named “JudEE”, has a hunchback. She’s no different but she does squawk and walk a bit sideways.) I’ve never been more soaked then I was after that little adventure.
Springtime came along and baby chicks were for sale at the local hardware store. I couldn’t resist.
We had to buy in quantities of 6! I then had to buy a lamp and well, they couldn’t be outside! The hubby sacrificed his bathroom and they were soon flying and pooping everywhere! I do mean everywhere, so I bought 6 more. It just made sense, to me. The more the merrier.
So, we built a coop for all 24 chickens! When I say “we”, I mean my loving husband aka domestic associate! That is love. He never said “no”. He loves my love of animals and he doesn’t even like eggs! Thank God, my neighbors do!
And, in time, I let them all out to roam the property or “free range. It was like a movie with all of these chickens of many colors out in the open. The trees were offering a glimpse of green. Ahhhh, I was in heaven. I took pictures and posted them everywhere!
Then, I started counting. Stupid chicken hawks took out 2 of our chicks. The following day, I came across two more limp bodies in the forest. It broke my heart. I dug graves for them and made little crosses to mark the spot. I sobbed while burying them.
A few days later all of the remaining chicks went to the gravesite and took their dirt baths. It was surreal and sad. And this was a daily ritual for days after that. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I learned we’d had a grave robber! They were gone. I didn’t dig the hole deep enough, apparently.
Interestingly enough, they didn’t discuss any of this “National Geographic” reality of nature in my “Chickens 101” class. And this was just the beginning.
That being said, the chick’s are coming to a local store next week. Will you be getting some? Do you think I’ll be getting more? Stay tuned.