Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Adventures in Chickenland

Yes, that's correct. We are now owners of three chickens. Dan brought them home this weekend per my request and his parents generosity. I'd been thinking about getting chickens for quite a while. When ever I think about self-reliance I think about chickens. Long complicated story, don't ask. Anyway, I always thought about it, but didn't think it was possible given where we live. Well, our friends who live a few houses down got some and told us that the city had changed some laws to allow it. Great! Now I just had to convince Dan. I talked to his parents about their chicken experience and they said we could have some of their chickens, and this way, if we don't like it they will take them back. This was all sounding really perfect to me. My family really wants pets because fish apparently aren't enough, so chickens sounded like the next best thing. No need to love a chicken...no need to feel guilty for not loving a chicken or not spending time with it. It will teach the kids responsibility and hey, we'll get eggs. So, perfect all around. Dan took some convincing. Once I told him he could build the coop he argreed (and then I dashed his hopes when I told him no to all his elaborate plans...but really, why spend all that money on something we might not keep?). Anyway, like I said, he agreed and brought them home Saturday night. It was around then that our neighbors told us that their chickens had yet to lay an egg. Hmm...well, it's still a great experience. We really only use eggs for baking, and I don't bake all that much. No biggie.
Saturday night we put the kids to bed and stay up until 11:30 finishing the chicken coop...well, not finishing, but making it chicken-liveable. It was kind of fun to build something with Dan, even it if took me ten times longer to do things than it would have taken him. He was good to let me help. Well, Sunday when we drove up the driveway from church I saw an egg in the coop! Awesome! I figured that was the one and only egg we would get, and only got it because it was in the making the previous day at it's former home. Well, to make a really long story shorter (but still long) we've got one egg every day so far. Here's a picture of Kember with our first egg. So glad her eyes are closed...sigh.We enclosed our side yard and we've been letting the chickens roam our yard during the day. I thought this was a great idea, especially when we plant our garden because they eat bugs! Awesome. Well, maybe not. I'm not sure if all chickens do this, or if ours are just particularly weird, but they are major destructive (not like there is anything there yet that we care about) and they like to throw dirt on themselves. Is that normal? I know horses do that, but chickens? Weird. Here are our chickens burying themselves in dirt.
Well, here is where the adventure begins. We decided to paint the chicken coop to make it last a little longer. So I shooed the chickens out of it (it was mid-day and they were free to roam, but were in the coops. Well, painting was an adventure. It was Kember and me trying to do it. She was painting the outside, and I the inside. The chickens really wanted back in...really bad. They kept trying to get in, and flapping and scaring Kember and whatever. Anyway, I decided to be done painting and let the birds in. Just at that time two of them decided that it was time to fly over the fence to our neighbors yard. Oh wonderful. Dan is no where near being home, and these are neighbors I haven't met (pathetic I know, no excuse other than we're anti-social). Anyway, I knock on their door and explain the situation. Two of them come out to help me round up the stupid chickens. No, I'm not feeling very friendly towards them at this time. Kember starts freaking out. She screams, "I want you! Mom, I want you!" I keep telling her that I'm right here and will be back as soon as we get the chickens. Well, shes screaming for a while because I'm no good at catching chickens (I'm rather chicken myself). I ran home to grab a sheet to throw over them, and the neighbor lady realizes that Kember is screaming this time because she is stuck. She went through two fences to try to get to me and got stuck. Sigh. Well, I run back around to unwedge her through the fence, leave her screaming again (I did hug her and comfort her a little) to go catch another stupid bird (I had caught one of them by this time). They grabbed the other by the time I got there, but Kember is traumatized. Cole escaped the yard too, and couldn't figure out how to get back, so he was crying, and I couldn't find him (he was in the other neighbors yard). Caden was just wandering around happy as could be because he was missing his nap. Sigh...We finally got all three chickens back in their coop, and there they are staying until Dan clips their wings and even then they might stay there indefinitely. Oh, so in the middle of all this Dan calls me back to tell me that he will clip their wings when he gets home, and that it shouldn't be that hard. I wasn't really in the mood to take this call. The chickens were hiding in the neighbors front yard bushes at this time, and no one could get them, but the lady was trying to go in her bushes to do it. Sigh...well, it's all good now. And it doesn't sound like a big deal, but it made for a crazy afternoon. My other neighbor called when we finally got inside to see if everything was okay. They could hear Kember screaming her head off when she was stuck. Chickens....great idea....lovin' 'em. Teaches responsibility....Good times :)

12 comments:

Rorie said...

I'm sorry, but I'm laughing. Someday, you too will laugh. But probably not today, so I'll stop laughing now, lest you get irritated at me. No need to irritate the wonderful person who volunteered to watch my son on Tuesday.
Can't wait til we get our chickens! :)

Kirsten said...

I have to agree, you had me laughing too. I'm glad that in the end, everyone was back home. Fun times.

Andrea said...

Such an entertaining post! I can picture it. I would like chickens for their eggs because eggs are pricey, but I think they smell bad-don't they?

Will it get too hot for them in the summer?

Rachael said...

"When ever I think about self-reliance I think about chickens." --- this is quotable. Awesome. Whenever chickens are involved you know it's going to be a crazy story :) My friend had chickens, and they used to chase me.. it was a mad dash from the car to her front door (they let them room) they can be vicious!

Tarah said...

Just so everyone knows, it is funny to me now, so go ahead and laugh at my situation :) Oh, and we figured out why they really wanted back in and were going crazy. They wanted to lay two more eggs. So, three eggs today. Cool. Yes, Andrea, they have a smell. They tend to poop....a lot.

Karen said...

So funny.

Chickens! I am very impressed! Go you. The idea of it sounds good (well sort of) but I don't think I could do it.

I've had way to many experiences where my neighbors must think I'm in way over my head, gotta love kids. They always seem to sense my weakest moments before they meltdown. :)

Loni said...

What can you do but laugh, which I did. Do you remember our experiences with calves always escaping when Joe was out of town?
Animals! You gotta love them, or do you?
Go Tarah!

michelle said...

We are NOT getting chickens so don't even mention it to my kids!!!:)

* Nancy * said...

Hilarious! What a day that must have been! I hope you're still liking the idea of having these chickens around. :)
We need to get together to play and chit-chat.

Ma & Pa J. said...

We just about died laughing at this post! I think you need to write a book Tarah! Welcome to farm life and its daily adventures. Hope the kids are over the trauma and that they like the chickens again. Grandma and Grandpa C. say that Cole sure has a lot to say about them.

Lindsay said...

I totally laughed out loud at this - multiple times! Great story!

Becky said...

Oh, Tarah. I love you more every time I read your blog. :D