John and I are not what we call “pet people.” We have many family and friends who are, and by excluding ourselves from that group we in no way mean to say there’s anything wrong with them. We just have no desire to add to our busy family the responsibility of yet another critter to take care of. Especially the furry kind. Maybe when we no longer have a kid in diapers we’ll get that urge to scoop poop off the ground or out of a litter box… For now, sorry. Doesn’t sound like fun to me, and thankfully John’s of the same opinion. We’re grateful our kids (thus far) haven’t got the itch to bond with a little furry creature… so if you know our kids personally, DON’T go giving them ideas.
Now you have that background, you will understand how surprised we were to find that we actually liked our 4 buff (that’s their color) orpington (that’s their breed) chicks.
Chickens? You’re thinking, they have chickens???
Yup, we do.
But didn’t I just say we’re not pet people?
We’re not. Chickens provide eggs. They contribute. They earn their keep and when they quit laying, dinner’s on them. 😉
A family in our ward got some last year for Easter and by fall they were laying eggs. WOW, I thought, they never have to buy eggs from the store? That is so, so cool. I bet we could do that.
Thus, at the end of April this year (when Easter should have been if you ask me), John came home one day to 4 little cheeping chicks in a cardboard box. Boy, was he surprised! Heh, heh, heh. We (I) had talked about wanting to get chicks this year… but… well, I don’t think John knew how serious I was about it. He wanted to get the coop made before bringing the little birds home, but I knew if we waited for that, there was a strong possibility it wouldn’t happen this decade.
It was my turn to be surprised when John was the one to bond with our little chickies.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved them, too. They were SOOO cute as little fluffy balls of smallness. We split the chick-care (food, water, replacing the newspaper, etc) – but every evening it was John who took them out and played with them, let the roam around our kitchen floor & chirp in his lap. Precious. I called him the “Chicken Father” and we called them his “Chicken Ladies.”
This video was taken after that daring little chickie had “flown” from his knee to perch on the side of the box. What a surprise! We were hoping for a repeat performance for the camera.
They grew and they grew and they grew, very quickly. Even quicker than Evan.
And pretty soon John & our brother in law Carl built a chicken house for them outside. I was *very* happy by that point (June-ish) to get them out of the kitchen. The chicken coop itself was a dog house in a former life, and the chicken run is tall enough for us to walk into. A month or so later, our dear Autumn’s neighbor had three chicks-almost-chickens she couldn’t keep anymore. We were happy to add the little cheep-cheeps to our flock. The one on the right there proved to be too little to stay contained in our coop and managed to get out before too long. The coop is built of chicken wire, pvc pipe, zip ties, and has a pressboard roof over part of it. It’s definitely not Fort Knox; the door doesn’t even have a latch, but it keeps the (bigger) chickens in.
Unfortunately, it didn’t keep predators out last night. But I’ll save that for its own post.