Mid-April of this year, I ordered 6 chicks from TSC in Peterborough. 3 Plymouth Rocks and 3 red ones? I forget what breed it is. The end of May I woke up early and went to pick them up.
This day was the day I became a Crazy Chicken lady – and I’m owning it.
So I got them all set up in my bathroom with a heating lamp and was so excited to have chickens again.
(I also was a Crazy Chicken Kid) I was so worried about my sisters lab, Sako – as she doesn’t like birds or really any other animal other than Lloyd. As you can see in the pictures – the introduction went well.
So I got these chickens for 3 reasons. 1) Eggs. I know pastured chickens produce the best quality eggs. 2) Fertilizer for my garden 3) Clear up the bugs in the grass
Anyways – I have developed a very special bond with my chickens. When they were little, I would bring them outside and let them play in the grass. Over time, if you can believe it – these little girls developed big personalities.
Everyone kept asking them same question “Have they started laying yet?” And I would always answer “No! They are just babies”. “Well they should be laying by now?” I knew it would take time and patience.
The chickens go into their hutch on their own and then we would lock it up. One night I forgot and when I went to leave for work 4 of them were out on the front porch. Where was the other one? I got excited and thought – OMG! Maybe its laying! I ran around back and locked in their hutch and it wasn’t there. But there was 3 piles of feathers. Without going into detail- but I had the same reaction as every person that has ever watched Lion King, Old Yeller, Marley & Me, etc. Just devastated.
Well from then on out – there was no way I was forgetting. About 2 weeks later it started to get really cold at night. We hadn’t built a winterized coop for the girls yet so I brought them inside and put them in a large rubbermaid tote in the bathtub. I let them out in the morning, and the following night – I saw the ladies hanging around the hutch and I realized I didn’t put the ramp down for them to go inside. I put it down and they were taking their time going in and I had to leave for work. I knew my parents would be home soon after to lock them up.
That night I came home from work and it was cold again so I went outside to get them to bring them in. There was only 3 in the cage? Well where did the other one go? They were locked up? How did it get out? Well there was another pile of feathers beside the hutch. I guess in that 45 minute period when I left for work and my dad let them out – something came and got it. I wasn’t sad this time – I was pissed. It was the other Rocky.
Anyways – so we have been a lot more careful with locking them up and we moved their hutch to the front porch where there is a light motion detector- hopefully to deter some of the hungry critters.
Today was an exciting day. One of the chickens was hanging out on the window sill, looking inside and then pecking on the door. We opened the door and she came running in. I figured she couldn’t find the other 2 who were outside in the tree, so I took her around back and put in the tree with them. I went to go get something from my car and I saw her at the door again? What is going on? Why is she being so weird today?
Were the other chickens being mean to her? So I took her out to find the other 2 put her down and went back inside. Went back to see if she was there – she was not…She was in her hutch LAYING!!!! I was so excited. Since I started writing this – I am proud to announce she had her first egg.
It sure makes you appreciate real food a HELL of a lot more when you have that connection to the animal. I probably won’t ever hunt – but I appreciate that a lot more today.