The chicken thing started with the shame of being too lazy to compost, letting ourselves get carried away with what our food scraps could do for us. It wasn't enough to get some fertilizer out of the deal, not when you can have eggs, too! We've discussed it for a couple of years and now we're just like everyone else, chickens in our backyard.
No, technically, in our elevator (the one the old lady who previously resided here had installed in her last years, but which isn't currently hooked up. A nice safe place for baby birds to hang out).
We started with four Leghorns (two white, two brown), setting them up in a comfy cage found on Craigslist, which a nice feeder to poop in and a nice waterer to poop in and nice soft bedding to poop in. Cute. As. Hell.
The flock numbers three now, and they're getting bigger every day. Their personalities are distinct enough that even if Henriette wasn't a different color, you'd be able to tell her from Penelope who is different from Betty despite looking so much alike.
Right now they are at the surly tween stage, where they still look baby-cute sitting still but their gait is becoming awkward, their limbs lanky. But like any tween, they still long for snuggles. Still, what they're thinking right now is "Ugh. STUPID".
Very soon they will not be cute at all. More of their big-girl feathers will be in (let's hope they're big girl feathers, there's a ten percent chance of big boy feathers and a relocation program). Pretty soon they will be the chick equivalent of teenagers. Ay, me.
And pretty soon they'll be living in a coop in the yard, which Dug is building. And in six months or less, we'll start getting eggs.
The chickens will also be contributing to the rest of the food production in the house, by eating some of our scraps and contributing their (copious) poop to our compost. Said compost will be enriching the raised beds Dug has built/is building for vegetables--so far in the first bed I've got four kinds of tomatoes, one crookneck squash, one cucumber, and a few heads of lettuce that I bought as starts because I couldn't wait for the lettuce I'll be growing from seeds in the next bed. I am looking forward to canning some of our bounty, making tomato sauce and pickles. And I fantasize about having a home-grown spinach salad this fall with a home-grown hard cooked egg on top.
Or, I will get bored with it and everything will die. We'll see. My grandfather once told us that farming was impossible unless you were born into it, but I don't think that's any reason not to do what we can to stay close to the land, as it were.
I hate that I haven't even gotten it together to post about the chicks, and I'm already having to do this.
Tallulah, you were one rad little lady. You were the one Daisy named, with an insistence on the surname because after all, you were part of our family the minute you were scooped out of the cage and into the box full of wood shavings at the feed store. You were exceedingly friendly from the very beginning, the first one to bravely stand in the center of someone's hand rather than cower in chickeny...chicken-ness.
You were a good eater, and you certainly did not poop in your water any more than any of the other chicks. You were precocious at roosting. We really liked you a lot, and you were taken from us too soon. And I don't know why your picture insists on being sideways.
We held a hasty funeral, with Dug on speakerphone from the airport where he was about to leave for a business trip. We placed a temporary stone, laid flowers, sang "Amazing Grace", cried a lot.
Daisy's holding it together, but Molly is kind of a mess after her first real brush with mortality. "I just love so many people", she told me. She made me promise to let everyone know, so I am, with all respect to our fuzzy little friend.
I knew this was probably going to happen, but it doesn't make it any easier. Poor Tallulah. Poor little Nichols girls.