Chicken Crazy

A few weeks ago we went and met the nice ladies who lay our eggs, a flock of Barred Rock chickens. Last week we got the news that their human has decided that she’s going to sell off the flock and go traveling. Damn.

The last egg lady we had works at the hospital, and we don’t really want to go there unless we’re in need of emergency treatment after Amethyst’s lousy experience working there with a hostile clique of dumpy old women with nothing better to do than viciously harass those newly hired until they quit. The egg lady before that gave up after the second time a bear cleaned out her hen house. (Me, I’d have a bear skin rug and fresh eggs, too. I get all kinds of aggressive when animals attack my livestock. Or my people. Or me. I haven’t lost a fight with a wild animal yet… ‘cuz I’m just that damnably stupid.)

While preparing my breakfast this morning the chicken crazies caught me again, and I ended up browsing the Murray McMurray Hatchery web site yet again. That sealed it. I’m going to get serious about drawing up my chicken tractor plans so we can build it and fill it up with Buff Orpingtons in Spring.

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The egg lady who’s going out of business looked askance at us when we mentioned the Buff Orp, as she’s crazy about the Barred Rock. Chicken people get that way, some of ’em. Though not the great egg producers that the Plymouth Rocks (of which the Barred Rock is a variety) are, the Orpingtons are friendlier and a bit heavier, and with it being just the two of us we don’t need amazing egg production. We need friendly and fun.

Guess who’s probably going to be posting chicken pictures way too often next year. 😀

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9 thoughts on “Chicken Crazy

  1. erikamsteele

    I am jealous. I want chickens. I actually don’t think the landlords would care if we bought some and let them roam around the complex considering there is a neighborhood cat name cosmic. Someone built him a house and we all feed him. He’s kind of spoiled. I don’t see why neighborhood chickens would be different.

    Reply
  2. whyzat

    Do you watch that TV show about the homesteaders in Alaska? The story abou the bear eating the chickens made me think of it. Last night, the homesteaders were having trouble with a porcupine. It had quilled their dog, their horse and a calf. It was a little unnerving just to watch them pull the things out! One of the guys finally shot the prickly troublemaker, and they had porcupine stew for supper!

    Reply
    1. happierheathen Post author

      Nope, don’t watch any television at all. We’ve got one but it’s not connected in any way to the outside world, not even by an antenna.

      Porcupines quills usually only show up in porcupines themselves and in critters that just have to learn the hard way about messing with them. I know a dog who’s had that lesson three times so far and it remains to be seen whether or not he learned from it. Most learn the first time, some never do. Same with skunks — I know another dog who’s had the skunk lesson five times so far!

      Reply
  3. digitalgranny

    Very cool. When my kids and I lived in the country we kept chickens and the eggs were so much better than store bought.

    Reply
  4. g.

    That’s tremendous. We had chickens when I was a kid. I remember one year my parents bought “old” chickens from a local factory-farm. They came to us half-bald with beaks and wings clipped, scared to death at being suddenly out in the open after a life in a cage. It was heartbreaking. But after a few weeks they were completely different animals–charming and silly and happy. Their beaks grew back and their feathers filled in. I’d whistle with a tweet-tweet-tweet and they’d would come running from all over their large enclosure. (Tweet-tweet-tweet meant leftovers from the last night’s dinner.)
    Post LOTS of pictures, please.
    g.

    Reply
    1. happierheathen Post author

      The spent hens from factory egg production are some sad lookin’ critters for being just two/three years old. I’ve never heard of them being rescued (for anything other than soup) before — that’s cool!

      There certainly will be lots of pictures once we’ve got the chooks. Guaranteed!

      Reply
      1. g.

        We did eat them eventually, but not before they gave us more eggs than we could eat–and we were a family of six. The corporate farm definition of “spent” may be quite similar to the fashion industry definition of “old.” Heh.

        Reply
        1. happierheathen Post author

          Spent to them usually means the end of the second laying year. The stress of artificial lighting to maintain high production (and no restorative downtime) along with the smaller body size of the usual commercial layer breeds just doesn’t leave them much energy after that.

          Reply
  5. Pingback: Crazy Chicken Lady Criteria | Life After Reboot

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