Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blanche finally settles in

Last week, Blanche stayed out for 4 days or so. As usual, she never went anywhere. I usually found her in the pine tree directly above the run. I think she finally figured out that it's warmer in the run, with other chickens. She doesn't fly up in my face to try to escape now. She does look the worse for wear - disheveled and unkempt as far as chicken appearances go. But at least she's with the rest of the flock and is trying to blend.

Today I understand

Yesterday was so cold that we didn't open the coop door to let the chickens outside. Today, we could. But despite adding fresh cedar chips, there is no denying that the coop stinks.

Whenever I mentioned that we were thinking of getting chickens, people raised with them would object. "They stink." "Why would you want them?" "They're stupid and smelly." The only person who ever seemed to like chickens was my friend Pat. When I gave her some eggs, she told me good memories of coming home from school and collecting and washing eggs.

I figured that people who were raised with chickens probably had 200 chickens. Then there would be no way to manage the smell and the smell is horendous.

Now, I get it. Of course, I still love having chickens. But WHEW, the smell!

RIP Peanut

I found our little Peanut dead today. I don't know what happened. I do know her comb and waddle were getting lighter and lighter, bleaching more and more. I think that's a sign of aging. I am sure Red will miss her, as do we.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blanche AWOL again

My husband didn't believe me when I was telling friends how Blanche flies in my face or zips out the door every time I visit the coop. "How hard can it be to keep a chicken in?" he thought.

Yesterday, he learned otherwise. He literally was kicking at her to keep her inside, yet she prevailed. She has been outside for 1.5 days. I found her nesting in the pine tree above the run, I found her walking along the back of the run, I found her walking along the front of the run. Why not just be inside?

A few neighbor kids have rounded her back up for me. But I give up. I just can't keep her inside anymore. Every day, she looks a little more beat up and haggard, but it's her choice. It's like a homeless person who is happier living on the streets than anywhere else. Sometimes you just have to let it be.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Overwintering five

I've got an extra five chickens for the winter, as my friend Jennifer couldn't get a heated coop going in time. Two are big, beautiful white chickens and make the flock look, color-wise, complete.

One little snafu this week: I started a full-time job two weeks ago, and no one let the chickens out one day. I got home to find nobody in the run, opened the door to the coop and they came out like a can-of-worms. They ran straight to the water.

They then went on a 4-day egg-laying strike. Finally started getting a few yesterday.

Who can blame them?

Friday, October 30, 2009

The prodigal chicken returns

Without fanfare, Blanche returns. I find her walking back and forth along the run. I herd her back in, this time without Doodles. She immediately runs into the coop. I decide I will give her her own little pile of scratch grains and when I open the coop door to put the grains in, she actually tries to escape. I do not understand this chicken! She must have mad cow.

Still AWOL

We still can't find Blanche.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lost chicken

I can't find Blanche anywhere. We've been driving the neighborhood. We went across the field to what we thought had to for sure be Blanche, but it was just a seagull. I keep looking out the window to see if she's walking back and forth along the run, which is what they usually do. But no Blanche. She's trouble, but I don't want anything bad to happen to her.

There are a lot of terms we use everyday that originate with chickens.

Pecking order.

Cooped up.

Flew the coop.

I think Blanche flew the coop.

Can she use the door bell?

There is a knock on the door, and I wonder if it will be a kindly neighbor with Blanche tucked under his arm. But it's just UPS.

She did it again!

I go out to check for eggs, and Blanche slips out again. Then Doodles slips out and I hear lots of frantic clucking. Doodles is trying to chase Blanche back in, and even though I open the coop door for her, Blanche won't go in. She'd rather face the dog, I guess, than the flock.

It reminds me of an article I saw in The Onion. The accompanying photo looked just like Blanche, and the headline said Free Range Chicken Makes It To Bolivia. Maybe that's where she's heading, because I can't find her anywhere.

Blanche gets weirder

Every time I open any sort of door or gate, Blanche flies up into my face and escapes. She has made many enemies in this flock, and I think she needs a respite. It's really hard to get one chicken back into the run, though, because all the others try to sneak out, too.

We figured out that the our mixed-breed, 10-month-old puppy named Doodles is probably a Border Collie. So we have been letting her round up Blanche. We figured we would let Doodles test out her Boarder Collie-ness on a few chickens that aren't our favorites. Unfortunately, Blanche qualifies. But fortunately, it works.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blanche completely weirds out

Blanche has always been a loner - one of those that, if human, would be on the news for committing some strange crime. Sure, she's the cute, fuzzy yellow chick that insists on being in all photos. But you can just see the neighbors being interviewed: Well, she kept to herself, pretty much.

She is now all grown up and doesn't lay eggs very often. We tried calling her Peaches or Peachy, but Blanche is the name that stuck. She has taken up permanent residence in one of the nesting boxes and hisses at me when I open the door. She puffs up and is ready to strike if I put my hand anywhere near her.

For a long time, she just sits, but after a while, discovers that she could be sitting on eggs. It must give her a sense of purpose. I fool her by giving her a plastic Easter egg, or a golf ball. She then stands up and rolls it under with her beak, settling it in with the rest of the brood. I can then see how many eggs she's sitting on. Then she catches on.

So now, I come at her from behind. Since my husband designed the coop with a jutted-out area for the nesting boxes, it has its own flip-up door. (It's really heavy and we have a low-tech way to keep it open: a stick.) I pick Blanche up by the butt, and grab the eggs with the other hand. She can't beak me from that distance.

OK, so Blanche goes broody, you say. But the thing that's so weird is that she also recruits Legs to be part of it. She sits on Legs like she's still an egg. And Legs puts up with it! Why? Warmth? Two outcasts bonding together? Nothin' else to do?

On the occasion where Blanche does leave the nesting box, she heads out into the run for some scratch grains. But she stays puffed up, walking around like a pumped-up body builder on Venice Beach.

I begin to really dislike Blanche. But when she does go into the run, the other chickens pick on her and I feel bad. So for now, I am putting up with her weirdness and hostility. And Legs does, too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Big Mama

My husband misses General Mills so much that my daughter and I put a picture of him in a frame and sign it: Dear Jim, I really miss you, too. Love, General Mills.

Big Mama is a black Cochin with feathers on her legs. She is large and in charge and has no problem stepping up to the plate to lead this flock.

And now, blending past and future tenses, I will tell you the full story of Big Mama.

The flock was doing fine. Big Mama made sure each chicken knew where they stood - usually with just the stamp of a foot. It is around this time I noticed that she has an eye that is looking infected. I put neosporin on it every day, but it isn't enough. Soon, her eye is completely closed and she is shaking her head frequently.

One Saturday, I grab Big Mama and am walking around the neighborhood with her tucked under my arm. I ask Joan, who says she looks fine. I ask Mike, who grew up on a farm with chickens, if she looks ill. No - her feathers are fine. She's big and fat and just has an eye infection. Jim agrees.

So, I put Big Mama back with her flock. But two days later, Big Mama completely tanks. She is really, really ill. After frantically trying to figure out how to ring a chicken's neck, then realizing that I just can't bring myself to do it, I find a vet who will help put her down. It's the only humane thing I can do for her. I am crying all the way to the vet, and I can hear Big Mama in the box, shaking her head and trying to make sense of what's going on.

This is my first emergency with the chickens. I am so upset that I let it get to this for Big Mama. It's not till two weeks later that I finally put two and two together: I see a small gang of squirrels enter the run, and I see all the chickens run inside the coop. I am sure that Big Mama would not have stood for having squirrels in her run, and tried to scare them out.

I think Big Mama took one for the team.

I miss that mean old bird.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

General Mills declares himself

We're out with the chickens, letting them free-range in the yard. It's about 8 pm on a Saturday night. We have a fire in the fire pit and the neighbors are over - we're planning to make a few smores.

That's when I see General Mills harassing one of The Brown Ones. She is squawking and trying to get out from under his grip. Still, it has not registered for me what's going on. I go over and kick him, which he completely ignores. I kick him again and he finally gets off. (When I say kick, I mean the way you kick a new-car tire, not a football.)

It finally dawns on me that they were mating!

He gives me a look, then struts into the coop, and, with the light bulb from the coop creating a nice back-dropped silhouette, he starts to crow. It's not a wimpy, test run either. It's not a starter crow, but a full-out "I'm a man!" kind of crow.

And he doesn't stop crowing. He wants the world to know he's had his way with The Brown One. He wants the galaxy to know.

I apologize profusely to the neighbors, and outline my plans for him. But it still takes two days to get him relocated. He ends up with three other roosters and twenty hens at a hobby farm. The new owner assures me that 'hobby farm' is not a euphemism for 'dinner plate'.

As chickens go, there was something to admire in General Mills. He was big and beautiful, white and black with emerald green tail feathers. He ran his flock with assuredness, firmness, but fairness.

Once he's gone, the rest of the hens don't really know what to do with themselves. They are so used to following his lead, they mill about aimlessly for a while. That's when Big Mama steps in.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This shows up

When I started The Chicken Project, I knew that I wanted to not only make it fun for my daughter, but for our neighbors and community as well. I would keep it clean and smell-free and not have any roosters or complaints.

Since I started it, I've made many new friends who I just love - some who now have chickens. Kids visit. Soccer players from the field take a look. My daughter delivers eggs via her bike (she can fit two 6-packs in her basket) and gets to keep in touch with her 6th grade teacher, Mr. Kolden. And she's got a little business called Arrow Eggs - logo and everything. One dozen eggs only $1.50, delivered.

So, someone hung this sign up, and now, almost a year later, I still have no idea who did. But I like it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Time to combine

It's time to move the chicks out with the five. Red and Peanut aren't ready, so they move up to the Loft. From what I've read, this upsets the whole balance of the flock - a new pecking order will be established, and it might be brutal.

But they have to move out sometime. I decide to divide the run in two, and put some wood in between the fencing for the day. That way they'll get the idea that there is something on the other side, and it will be a slow introduction.

But my plan fails when my husband and my daughter decide to do their own thing: throw the chicks in and let the chips fall where they may. Apparently, just because I told them the plan, that doesn't mean it registered. I'm not happy.

The introduction is chaos. There's lots of chasing and running. There's lot of flapping. There's lots of clucking - both the threatening kind and the surprise "What? You're picking on me?" kind of clucking. With a stick, I try to poke the more aggressive ones.

At the end of the day, it is the Sharks versus the Jets - with the five in one corner and the seven in the other. Tomorrow, I won't be surprised to see them in matching T-shirts and tennis shoes, breaking out in dance.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And another

She's not a chicken, she's a ham.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Photo opp

Blanche walks into another shot.

General Mills

Our friends from Northfield (which is the country) ask us if we (from Roseville, the city) know if we have any roosters yet. When we tell them we're not sure, they says we should know by now.

"But we're idiots." I tell them. "We have never been around a chicken that hasn't been on a plate before."

This one gives me reason for suspicion. He acts differently already from the others. I decide to name him General Mills. Plan A for roosters may have to go into affect soon.

She's got legs

It's Legs! She turns into our smallest and friendliest hen. When she lays eggs, she gets all red and puffs up to the size of a softball. Lucky for her, she lays only once a week or so.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What will she be when she gets older?

Guess what this one looks like when she (he?) grows up?


The chicks are getting these small combs on top of their heads. There are rose combs, sultan combs, funky combs, straight-forward combs. They're growing in like antlers or something. They're soft, and make me wonder even more what these little guys are going to turn into.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The five arrive

The day has come to pick up the five hens we're going to adopt! Thing is, I've never transported a chicken before. I collected five wine boxes, thinking I'd put one in each. But Lori says a big Rubbermaid bin will do the job. I bring the bin the chicks have abandoned, and we wrangle them all in there - not without a few (namely Stretchie) escapees. It feels a lot like trying to put the worms back into the trick can. We bring them to their new home, then sit around and watch them settle in. It's like watching fish in an aquarium.

Friday, July 31, 2009

These chicks are just so cute but they do grow up fast

We had been calling this one Stripey, but changed it to Owl, which eventually becomes Hedwig. Here she is then as a chick (left) and now as a full-grown hen (above).

When Big Mama dies, Hedwig takes over.

I picked her up recently. She's at least 10 pounds. She is large and in charge, as you can tell by the "Don't you give me no lip" look on her face.

Coop built

It was a lot of work, but we are ready to adopt the five: the coop is built, the run is ready and we've bought egg-layer food. We call Lori to tell her we're good to go. Daugther can barely contain herself with the thought of adopting chickens!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coop situated

It's not easy deciding where to put the coop. We live on a field where many people walk their dogs off leash. We have raccoons. Both would love a free chicken dinner.

Jim decides to make my daughter's swing set into the coop. There will be three doors: the little one to let the chickens in and out if the run for the day. (We lock them in to keep the raccoons out.) The main entrance for us. And access to the nesting boxes. We decide on four nesting boxes, as they won't all lay eggs at once. We decide that a dog run from Mill's Fleet Farm is just the thing for the chickens' run.

We start building on a Saturday morning, and Jim is so proud that he is using every piece of scrap wood he's ever saved to build the coop.

Things are going along swimmingly until one of the big oak beams falls and conks him on the head. My daughter has the presence of mind to stick a bag of frozen peas on him. When we call Abbott's ER, and they tell us we better come in.

We end up there - with X-Rays and CT scans and 'how may fingers am I holding up' tests - for about six hours. We hadn't had lunch, and now, no dinner, so by the time Jim is released, we are ready to collapse. We have to eat at the hospital's McDonald's and order things we never do: fries, shakes, multiple hamburgers. I can't figure out why a hospital would have a McDonald's, except to assure future business.

I tell Jim I'll get rid of the chicks if this is just too much all together. But the doctor says he is OK, and when we get home, he (not intentionally, but very dramatically) rips his ID bracelet off and gets back to work. What a guy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's a few more?

A trip into the danger zone, i.e. the farm store, means we add two little chicks to the flock. Red has a poofy hood on the top of her (her?) head that just kills me, it's so cute. And Peanut is the teenyest chick ever. The thing with these two, is that the minute I looked at them, I had names for them. Plus, in doing the math regarding number of natural fatalities and number of roosters, a few more will help our odds of getting more egg laying hens. So home with us they go.

Red and Peanut are in the Rubbermaid bin that the seven started in, as they are smaller than the seven and got picked on when I put them in there. Talk about stress. You weigh a few ounces, get put into a new home with seven big strangers, only to get picked on immediately. The big ones are merciless, too.

That night, Red peeps wildly and just won't stop. Peanut is fine, just trying to get some sleep. I cradle Red till midnight, when I know she's good and tired, and place her in the bin in the warm towel I'd been holding her in. She falls asleep. Sheesh. It's like having a new puppy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fetch finally notices

Though we've had the chicks for a few weeks, the dogs haven't noticed. The chicks peep constantly, and move around a lot, so why the dogs haven't noticed, I don't know. Today, Fetch finally discovers them. Daisy, our wheaten terrier, still hasn't - and actually never does. But she is 14.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Introducing Blanche

Blanche, whom we had been calling Peachy, is now Blanche - following along with the Southern ladies names. She loves having her picture taken and walks into as many shots as possible.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Legs gets her name

We name this one Legs, because while she is our smallest chick, she has the longest legs. She looks like she is wearing capri pants.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And more names

The floodgates have opened. One of my favorite things to do is to name pets. I think I get it from my Grandma, who had a black Scottie that she named Rastiss, a goat named ZoZo and a cat named Ipsy, because she found it in Ipswich, Connecticut. My favorite was the cat she named after the town bachelor: John Slater.

I grew up with lots of pets. My Mom was a Pharmacist at Snyder Bros. Drugs. They had a little pet aisle. It was her job to formaldehyde any pets that came in sick. Of course, she couldn't do it. So we gave a home to one-eyed cockatiels, lame hamsters and canaries that wouldn't sing.

My Mom continued the fun pet names tradition. We had a canary that would sing only when we vacuumed. She named it Hoover.

Names have to present themselves to me. I am reading The Poisonwood Bible and decide it would be funny to give them all southern lady names. I name the black one (above) Orleana.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Despite our best efforts, we can't help but name the chicks. But just starter names, like Stripey (left) and such. We are chicken novices, but we do know the chickens, when full grown, will not look anything like they did when they were chicks. In fact, each morning, it seems they've grown a full size bigger.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Community Ed

I signed us up for a 'Chickens In The City' class through Minneapolis Community Ed, and my husband attends on our behalf. He gets good information, but is still noodling his coop design.

One good tip they gave: Save your fall leaves. In the winter, the chickens want to be outside but do not like to step on snow. Putting leaves down for them lets them be outside even if it snows. I find later that this is actually really helpful, and I hadn't read it in any of the books. The books also don't talk about insulating a coop - mostly because the coops are all in states that don't have harsh winters like us.

I certainly don't want the chickens cooped up all winter.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Coming in June (but happened May 20, 2008)

Well, it looks like we will be adopting the six hens I mentioned earlier. We are adopting them from Lori, a dynamic woman whose husband died and she now wants to join friends to go traveling. Though we don't have much to offer the hens, she says we can have them. My daughter is ecstatic. While squealing, she is jumping up and down and clapping her hands. Can we pick them up right now! How about tomorrow? How about this weekend?

We will have to be patient. Lori would like us to take them mid-June. This ups our coop-building deadline. (My August calculation was way off anyways. Hey, I'm an English major.)

I take notes about their names, which I just found today (June 14, 2009) in my 'chickens' file. I am reconstruting this story off bits and pieces I've saved; the printouts of various coops that my daughter found on the internet are the scratch paper I wrote these names down on. Luckily, it prints the date as well.

My husband, good at math but not so much at estimating, presents a coop plan that will cost $600, which I know means at least $800. No way! Chickens aren't picky, I tell him. We need to get it down to $200 at the most. Good naturedly, he starts a redesign.

Since we have chicks but have never had hens, we don't really know what we're doing. But like I said, chickens aren't picky.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Coop plans

We need to start thinking about where we would locate a coop in our yard, and what kind of run to construct. We live on a field where a lot of the neighborhood people walk their dogs off leash. It seems that chicken wire ends up droopy and with gaping holes. So we need a strong run and an affordable coop. Do we want a chicken tractor, which we can move around the yard so that the chickens fertilize our lawn as they go? How would we heat that in the Minnesota winter? Do we want an arty coop or country style? How 'bout a Manattan Loft? I calculate the age and date when the chickens should move out, and it looks like mid August. My husband is an Architect, so he starts doodling.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving them outside

The books say that we should bring the chicks outside a little at a time - like seedlings in the spring. I bring a few out to the front lawn, and enclose them in my daughter's hamster fence. The grass is taller than they are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rooster plans

Now that I know that some of these might be roosters, I really am trying not to name them. So far, my plans for any roosters include:
1. Bring them back to the farm store. The elderly guy there said he'd take them. He did not, however, say what he'd be doing with them.
2. Post them on craigslist.
3. Search for a hobby farm, hoping that 'hobby farm' is not a euphamism for 'dinner plate'.
4. See if Chicken Run Chicken Rescue can help me find a home for them.
5. Bring them to the butcher.

Number five would be hardest. I am a weenie. I can't imagine butchering something that I have made eye contact with.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Enter MacGyver

My husband fancies himself to be like MacGyver. His friends tease him about his love of doing temporary work. The Chicken Project is perfect for him, because, as the chicks grow, so do their housing needs. He realizes that the chicks are feathering in, and that they are going to need more space. He jury rigs together some mesh and some wire for Chicken Habitat Two - and the chicks are happy. They start not just wandering around, but running, and using the perch in the middle as a springboard of sorts.

Monday, June 8, 2009


The books say that the chicks have to practice perching. My husband rigs up a little balance beam-like device for them. They don't know what to make of it, so they walk around it. They also take more power naps.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Look at 'em!

These chicks are just so cute. When we hold them, they fall asleep immediately. They are still in the Rubbermaid bin on a card table in our living room. For all their noise, the dogs haven't even noticed them yet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Duck or a shoe store

When we went to get our replacement chicks yesterday, there was a lone baby duck running back and forth in a big bin, honking, honking, honking. Naturally, I assumed he was lonely and needed a good home, which I, of course, could provide. (Never mind that I know nothing about ducks. I can learn, right?) I ask about this duck, who stands straight up and down and looks like the kind of thing Smith & Hawken would make a garden statuary of. (See sampled yellow guy above.)

"No, he's fine. Somebody will be in here soon to get him."


I tell my friend Kim that I will have to cut down on my trips to the farm store: it's just too tempting to bring another animal home. She laughs and says that for some women it's the shoe store, for me, I guess, the farm store.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What we thought we had

You can order hatching eggs in what's called a straight run. That means there are both males and females in your order. I assumed that since the chicks we bought were hatched, they would all be female. At least that is what the pimply-faced young man with braces at the farm store told me. But it turns out he was more interested in closing the store than in actually answering my question. Because today, when we go to get a replacement chick for Yellow, I asked about gender again. The elderly gentleman working there dismissively said, "No, no - we have no idea what these are."

And it's true. My list of what the young man thought the chicks would be is above. No big deal what breed they are, they're still all chickens after all. But now, I had to calculate losing half my flock because, statistically, half would be roosters. So it seems that replacing Yellow with three of four chicks makes sense. Some could die, some could be male.

The chicken industry has an overrun of males. In fact, if you get hatched chicks mailed to you (you usually have to buy 25 though), they throw in a couple of males "to keep the rest of the chicks warm". Poor guys
I will have to come up with ideas for placing these males. It's an unwritten rule: no roosters in a city flock. Nothing will get neighbors complaining more quickly than a rooster crowing at all hours. I am not a morning person; I wouldn't like it either.

We bring four chicks home from our second trip to the farm store, including a bantam that is the size of a finch. It's the cutest little thing I have ever seen and seems to be a people person.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One of the seven dies

I read, read and read about chickens, trying to get ahead on the research that I should have done before getting the chicks. I feel like a new teacher, learning the lesson the day before you teach it. But it's OK; the chicks will be in the Rubbermaid home for a while so I have some time.

The little yellow chick is worrying me. Actually, I am worried about all of them. They are so dependent. They need just the right amount of heat. Special food. They even need a special waterer so that they don't drown in their water. They don't know from life.

I love the sounds of their little cheeps. The constant peeping subsides whenever I visit them (which is often) and they look up at me with expectation. I hold one at a time in a paper towel, and each almost immediately falls asleep. Not just a nap, either, but a full-out power sleep complete with fast breathing, head tilt and relaxed little body.

When they're in the Rubbermaid bin, and I quietly sneak up on them, I see that a few of them have simply tipped forward and fallen asleep. Wings out, eyes shut, they look as if they have passed away. Luckily, a book told me that this is just the way they look when they sleep.

But this morning when I check on them, the little yellow one doesn't get up. She had had a poopy butt which I cleaned about every hour. But this syndrome (I will look up the name of it) has gotten this one. All the books said to plan on a few chicks (10%) dying. I guess one of seven makes for good odds, but why the yellow one? It's the one who looks most like an Easter decoration or a craft project made out of pom poms. Her little black eyes are closed. We have a paper-lunch bag burial.

We deliberately do not name the chicks, as we are not certain of their futures. For now, TLC is all we can do.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


In the third grade classes at my daughter's elementary school, they were hatching chicks in a big Rubbermaid bin with a hot light on them. I found out it was a third grader's Mom, Sam, who had set up the project. I called her. Where do you get the eggs? Do you keep the chicks? If so, how do you house them? If not, where do they go?

Sam reports that eggs are from the Murray McMurray hatchery. Hatched chicks go to a guy. Would I like to meet a woman who has a flock here in the city? Oh, yes!

Went to meet Lori. Her coop is solid as a fallout shelter, and houses six hens. Sam is thinking of adopting the hens, as Lori, recently widowed, wants to travel. We meet the hens. Marcy falls in love with Ginger (above). I fall in love with Coco. A hen named Stretchie gives us the stink eye. I tell Lori we have seven chicks at home under hot lights in a city recycling bin. She wonders if we would like to adopt hers, as Sam isn't fully committed yet. Oh, yes!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chicks, April 24, 2008

Fourteen years. Fourteen years my husband would ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I would say 'chickens'. Lots happened during those fourteen years: moving, job changes, growing a company, baby, heart attack and bypass surgery, meditation classes, sweeping diet changes, miscarriages and more.

It was nearing Mother's Day 2008 when my husband asked if I wanted to do anything special. You can guess my answer, but this time, I threw in, "And you know, Marcy is not getting any younger. Soon, she won't have any interest at all." Marcy is our then-ten-year-old daughter.

My husband's response? "Chickens would be fun."

That was all the go-ahead I needed.

It was Wednesday. On Thursday I checked every book about chickens out of the library. On Thursday night, during a downpour, I suggested we drive to Houle's farm store on Highway 36 "just to look".

We walked in 10 minutes before closing and were greeted by about a dozen peeping chicks in a cardboard box. A couple from St. Paul was there, picking out four. Our thought was three. We came home with seven. We ended up with sixteen. More about that to come.