We're under fowl surveillance. The chickens want in.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The One That Started it All

The chicken on the heading is Rainbow. As mentioned before, she is the one that started it all. This is the story of how she did it. Oh, by the way, I am T.

In third grade, we hatched chicks in our class for Easter. I was one of the kids that was permitted to take a chick home--if the one we claimed ever hatched, which mine did. So on the day that we were to take them home, my teacher (as she later told us) was driving to the school that morning with the chicks' cage on top of her car. As she pulled into the school parking lot, though, the cage fell off, scattering the food, the straw, and the chicks, too. Luckily, a fifth grade class was outside and they helped my teacher pick up all the chicks. But it was just my luck that my chick was forgotten! When I came in to claim my chick that morning, it was missing! Being not very self-conscious of what I looked like at school, I burst into tears.

The teacher suggested that since one of my buddies was late, and his chick was safe and sound, I should take his. My teacher had said that if you came in late, you might not get your chick. So my mom took the chick (being black, my friend called him Blackie Chan), and left. One of the other parents was nice enough to go searching in the parking lot for my lost chick (by then, my friend and his mom had arrived). Meanwhile, all of us kids were gluing our faces to the window, looking. Suddenly someone pointed it out, saying, "Hey! The chick is under that car over there!" Soon, my chick was brought in, shivering. My friend's mom took my chick home with her, and later, after school, we switched chicks.

When I got home, I was greeted by another chick that my mom had apparently bought to keep Rainbow, as I had by now named her, company. That one was Angela.

That is the story of "The One that Started it All". And I'm pretty sure this explains why Rainbow seems to be the easiest one to catch--at least when I'm catching her.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Meet the chickens

We have seven hens plotting to infiltrate our home and turn it into a massive indoor chicken toilet. That's Rainbow (otherwise known as "the chick who started it all") in the picture, hatching her nefarious plans in lieu of hatching her eggs. No roosters allowed in the city-- not that we'd want one. We lived in Taiwan briefly, and though it was brief it was long enough to discover that roosters don't only crow at daybreak. They crow whenever-the-heck they feel like it. N once remarked that he wished we wouldn't take all the chicken eggs, because he wanted some of them to hatch, and H promptly launched into a lecture about precisely why our roosterless hens' eggs wouldn't actually produce any chicks. See, having chickens is educational for children!

We have three Rhode Island reds, a black australorp, an ameracauna (who gets extra points for laying green eggs), a silver-laced wyandotte, and one Unknown. That's Odessa. Poor Odessa, I just haven't been able to figure out what she is. I should get back to the chicken books and pin it down...

So the reds are Rainbow, Angela, and Beauty, who, ironically, is the chicken my husband and I think the most homely. L thought her gorgeous, however, and bestowed upon her her hyberbolic moniker. It wasn't as if I was going to tell her, "NO, honey, that chicken is too ugly to be named Beauty." Our black australorp is Lucy, who is actually Lucinda, but I think I'm the only one who remembers that. Our white ameracauna is Snow White (that name's from L again... someone had princesses on the brain two years ago, even despite never having any Disney princess movies in the home...hm....maybe that "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" lady has a point--wait! We do have the movie Cinderella...ok, now I will end this parenthetical insertion, really, I will), and the silver-laced wyandotte is Dot. Then there's our unknown Odessa.

We love our chickens. They are the Pets that Give Back. We give them food and care (and it's really not strenuous) and they give us the tastiest eggs I've ever had, plus loads of entertainment. They also free me from a truckload of guilt from the food my children would waste. Preschool children are notorious food-wasters, but now it's not wasted food, it's chicken food! I love that.

I will admit I have a favorite. Lucy is the smartest of the bunch (although that's really not saying much) and will follow me around like a puppy in a most endearing way. They ALL follow me when they think I have food in my hands, but that's different. On the rare occasion that a chicken finds her way into the neighbor's yard, I have to chase her down unless it's Lucy. Lucy will follow me obediently back home. Actually, Lucy may well be the most obedient member of this household.

If we had more space, we would have more chickens. And maybe a goat. A small goat. But I read that, just like chickens, goats get lonely on their own...