Friday, July 3, 2015

Chickens: The first 48 Hours

Pin It It took 48 hours to turn me into a Crazy Chicken Lady. No, it took 30 seconds to turn me, and another 47 hours, 59 minutes and 30 seconds for me to come to terms with that.

It took her seconds to accept her obsession.
In my late night binge reading about all things chicken (because when else am I supposed to read?! 2am is awesome.) I found Kathy, the Chicken Chick. Not only does she know everything about chickens, but she seems to be really good at keeping them alive and happy.

SPOILER ALERT: Researching keeping chickens is like researching how to raise children. Just try looking up chickens and garlic. Some people think any garlic outright kills chickens. Some tell you it will make eggs taste funky. Some tell you it is an amazing and you should feed them garlic every moment of every day, forever. Sanctichickemommies in full force, people. I gave them garlic. Let the hate mail commence.

So I found Kathy as a pretty solid resource and person aligning with my lifestyle (she grows a ton of herbs. I never thought I'd find someone who loves lavender as much as I do.), and decided to read as much as her blog pertaining to the one and under crowd as I could. We bought a plastic tub and the girls helped me set it up in preparation for our chicks, of which we thought we'd have three.

The post office, which I called with the regularity of calling my doctor the day before my induction with Raptor (baby 2), said the truck comes in at 6am, and I should expect a call shortly thereafter. I was up earlier than my children. At 11:30am, when they called, I chased my girls into the car and we claimed our (five) chicks.

Chickens were supposed to be part of our living garden. We take care of them, they take care of us, they turn to The Most Amazing matzoh ball broth ever after their laying days are done. I thought Kathy was a bit crazy when she said chickens were like Pringles, and how she features each of her 398472 chickens on her site, each with a catchy name and individuality. I opened that box and out popped six chicks. One jumped right up on me and into my V-neck. (Beware. Your boobs are warm and chicks dig that.) A few minutes later, I had managed to save one chick for my husband to name, and was googling how to expand coops. Kathy knows her stuff.
Guess which one my husband named.

I have done some crazy things in that time (post to come) all in the name of chickens.

 Here's what I have learned:

1) If you get less than a farm of chickens (and maybe even then) then maybe you won't instantly name and love them all. If this were some post apocalyptic dystopian teen novel I'd be able to not anthropomorphize my chickens as soon as I see their little chicky fluff and be able to eat them. But we live in New England, where people in suburban settings keep livestock as pets and see how smart animals really are, and then can't imagine eating them. But we will eat other people's responsibly farmed livestock and make amazing bone broth because TRADITION!

2) You will read all the blogs. I often wonder if the internet is a good idea. What would we do if we couldn't Google something and have a million opinions on the matter? Well, maybe I wouldn't have flown down the stairs after waking up the first night after the chicks came. How many blogs did I read where one just DIES? They sent a spare, just incase! My kids named them. Miss V told Husband that she was making a new country - New America - where she would take the chickens when they are grown to hide from him, just because he mentioned what some people do with chickens when they stop laying. (He also named his chicken Dinner, so...) But then maybe the one chick (Dinner) with pasty butt would have died by now. Regardless, here we are, people who don't sleep and Google all things. You will read all the blogs.

3) You will do crazy things. If you respect life and accept that you now are in charge of making these tiny things survive an existence much better than Purdue, you will start to do The Crazy Things. I've already promised to tell you my crazy things later (and it is hereditary, apparently) but just know that the sooner you accept you've become a crazy chicken person, you will find your chicken people and a community that embraces that insanity. And your normal village will love you for your uniqueness, because how else are they going to get fresh eggs?

4) They grow fast. You have kids and hashtag everything "The years are short." Then you get a puppy and ponder how quickly they change compared to your kids (which makes you feel a little better about how fast your kids do/don't grow). Then you get chicks and realize that 48 hours later they look like a different bird. And you CARE about that. (Embrace the crazy, K.)

They are really freakin' cute. 

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