Everybody had that one person they looked up to when they were young. You know…they were probably ten or so years older and 5,000% cooler than you. They could do the things you couldn’t (or weren’t allowed to) do, like going to a movie without having to ask permission, drive, jump off a bridge into a freezing river that your Mother said was waaaaay too dangerous, or beat Super Mario Brothers with only one life. For me this embodiment of cool was my Uncle. I wanted to be able to find his awesome hiding places when we played Sharks and Minnows, and beat him at spoons. As a young teenager I was in love with more than one of his friends (who naturally never gave me the time of day). What does that have to do with chickens? Well…I would like to say that raising chickens was all our idea…and although my husband had been talking about it for years I think there is a part of me that is pretty pleased I can now officially be a part of my Uncle’s club…at least one of his clubs. I’ve still never jumped off that bridge, and I can’t even count the lives it would take me to rescue Princess Toadstool, but now I can say, we both have chickens!
We’ve had our little chickies for a week now and it is amazing to me how much the little guys are growing and changing every day.
What were once tiny stubs on the sides of their puff-ball-bellies are now sprouting feathers, a few even have teeeeeeeeny little rump feathers poking out of their fuzz, like our RIRs and the SLW.
The silkies are the craziest looking, hands down, with their ultra long necks, furry feet, extra toes and beginning fluff.
Our daughter has already named two of the chickens. We have Goldilocks, a RIR with a yellow head, and Aurora, our Welsummer, “because she has the eyeliner, and we KNOW she’s a girl and we won’t have to eat her.” Goldilocks has a backup name…The Big Bad Wolf, just in case she turns out to be a he, our 4 1/2 yr old daughter said it would be okay to eat him if he has a bad-guy name.
She’s also decided that any others who crow are going to be named Chick Hicks “because then Bubba won’t care if we kill it because he doesn’t like Chick Hicks”. Somehow I don’t think our son is going to have trouble eating the chicken, he’s already decided he’s going to eat the Barred Rocks (the only breed he, as a 2 1/2 yr old, can identify) and I have tried to convince him that we want them to all be girls so we can just get their eggs. But he has informed me that the black ones are boys and the red ones are girls. It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.
We painted the coop the other day and it is looking pretty great. We have to attach some chicken wire to the cracks and put in the door, ramp, and locks. We’re still trolling craigslist for cheep posts we can use for fencing a yard for our girls, but considering they have 5 more weeks before they can go outside full-time we’re holding out for a good deal. It literally pains me to spend money.
My uncle has his own, ever-growing, backyard flock and has been a wealth of information for us as we embark on this new journey. Aside from picking his brain, he literally got us started. The base for our coop was the old play structure from his yard. It also didn’t hurt that he loaned us all his power tools so we could build it. Even though he has a flock of laying hens, we were the first ones to get Barred Rock Chicks (granted he just picked up a couple yesterday…maybe he wants to be more like me? Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?)
Considering he has been on the bandwagon a little bit longer I guess we can make him President of the chicken club.