Saturday, April 28, 2012

Have you met "the ladies"?

I lived in a condo for a long time. Like 12 years or something, and I liked it.

But I had come to a point that I wanted to do things like... own chickens!

Having a yard was one of the most enticing things about owning a home. Having animals, a garden and room to mess about.
So last year, I bit the bullet and bought a few peepers! Two Buff Orpingtons and two Rhode Island Reds. They were adorable.
They grew up *very* quickly. (This was mere weeks after I brought them home.)

Eventually they grew big enough that it was time to move them outside, so then it was time to build a coop. They came to live at the rental.

This is their first day outside, roughly three months after hatching. It was awesome watching them poke around and forage. Also, I learned the true secret to getting a chicken's attention. Worms.

One day, a friend gave another friend a "gift of responsibility", which meant they bought them a Silkie Bantam show chicken and dyed her pink. It was a hilarious gift and worked out well, as the recipient already had chickens. Unfortunately, chickens are pretty aggressive about enforcing a pecking order, and Bubbles wasn't very good at standing up for herself. So she came to live with my flock of chicks.

It worked out extremely well. She was very motherly and taught the little peepers how to be proper chickens.
One of the more interesting things that happened when they first moved in, was a visit from a neighbor's african guinea fowl. When the guinea fowl realised there were new ladies in the neighborhood, it was quite an event. At 5am.

Did I mention, the neighbors all hated the guinea fowl? It's pretty obvious why.

Eventually, the chicks grew up into regular chickens. One of the Rhodies turned out to be a rooster and went to live on a farm (Literally. I built a coop and he lives quite happily in the country on a friend's multi-acre estate).

Bubbles too, eventually went to live at the same friend's estate when the Buff's grew up and started picking on her too much. She's now an indoor chicken and is very happy. When she came to live with me, I was told that she had been a "show chicken" and had lived indoors. So I'm glad that her rough outdoor lifestyle is over and she's back living "in the manner to which she had been accustomed".

So all that is left are the two Buffs, whom I have named Gretchen and Henrietta. (Gretchen is the larger one.) They get let out of the coop on the weekends when I'm around, they both actively lay eggs, and they are a constant source of amusement for people walking by the frontyard of our rental.

From my experience so far, I expect them to be a wonderful addition to the new home and the neighborhood!


Kay Strebe said...

I am so happy Bubbles is once again living a posh lifestyle. Don't know much about chickens but my friend Marisa has a few in San Diego and she is quite the expert. I do have a 19 year old pot bellied pig named Neal that lives on the street behind us..we love to visit him...Now that pig lives a very good life, he has his own house and his own pool and his own swing set...And he basically owns the owners because his Mom left his people house to the daughter as long as the pig lives and is well taken care of..Neal was also grandfathered into the city of Sierra Madre so as they say " Happy Pig, Happy Life"

Eliska said...

OMG, don't give him any ideas.

Jeremiah said...

I grew up with a Pot Bellied Pig! Her name was Patty the Pig. Or just Pig.

She was awesome. One time, she saved my parent's chihuahua from freezing. The chihuahua was accidentally locked outside when my parents went to bed, in December, in Eastern Washington.

The next morning, my mom heard the dog scratching at the door, and was like "WHAT?!?!". She then realized that Pig liked the little chihuahuas and that they shared Pig's pigloo (it was a plastic igloo she slept in outside).

Pig was an awesome pig.

Eliska said...

Alright, that's adorable.