Today is “Reading Day” at school. Final exams start this week! Actually, mine aren’t until next week…so I have a ton of time to walk around in sweat pants and putter around my yard 🙂 (My favorite things to do, obviously). I thought you might like to meet my chickens. They are the cutest and coolest around. I’ve loved watching their personalities grow over the past month or two.
We bought our hens for $10 a piece from the local flea market. And our rooster, Kingston, was given to us by Jason’s grandfather. I’m not sure how to feel about shopping for our chickies at the flea market. All of the chickens there looked so sickly, so I tried to pick the three best-looking. I looked at all of the hens for a looonggg time, walking up and down the row..and then walking up and down the row again. Finally, I stood in front of a batch of Silkies and just watched them. They were calm, no physical signs of stress (loss of feathers, etc). I picked girls that were caged together and another from a different cage. And here is where I’m torn:
The guy, an older fella with a super thick country accent, grabbed them by their feet and put them into what looked like a large potato sack. He bagged my birds. When he picked up the bag, all of the birds tumbled around until they were one on top of the other, claws and beak sticking out of the bag. They were clucking up a storm at this point.
Not sure if you guys know how I feel about animals, but this infuriated me. If I had known that he was going to shove them into a bag, I would’ve brought a ventilated box or something from home. Jason could see that I was about to loose it, so he quickly paid the man and I took the bag. I walked down the aisle a bit and sat the bag on an empty table so the girls could get their footing and regain composure. Once they sat beside each other, I gently slid my arm under their feet and carried them like one would cradle a baby..all the way home.
I’m not sure if we’ll buy from the flea market again..on the one hand, I do like giving those birds a good, free-range home, but I can’t stand supporting practices like that. On the other hand, I like supporting local farmers..so..I dunno. I probably would go back, but next time I’ll take my own carriers!
Anywho, we got the girls home and let them loose inside the coop, where Kingston was. The first thing they did was nestle down beside each other and have a relaxing dust bath in the dirt 😀 They were flinging dirt everywhere! It was clear that they were enjoying themselves very much 🙂 And on that note…let’s meet “the girls” (and Kingston):
Kingston is a Polish rooster and was the first to get here. He was a happy rooster until he stood in the rain all night (when it was 40 degrees out) and got sick. His then girlfriend, Lady (a Polish hen), tried to peck him to death, so we re-homed her and nursed Kingston back to health. He’s been sick once again since then, but now I think he’s finally fully recovered. Thank. goodness. He likes corn, sleeping in the sun, and following me around the yard. Things he doesn’t like: Marley (our dog), being petted, and the rake. He hates the rake I use to clean out their coop. He doesn’t mind being held, but he gets squirmy after a few minutes (understandably so). Jason says he’s a wussy…which I agree. Kingston is not very dominant. He just sort of goes along with the others. Maybe I coddle him too much? 😀
Kiki is my favorite! She is a Silkie (all of our hens are). Kiki is the brave one. She will walk up to me when she sees me. She doesn’t run away when I come near coop. We didn’t find out until after we brought her home, but her wings are deformed. She cannot open or spread them out, she can only lift them a little. She is the darkest of all of our girls. She loves looking for bugs in leaf piles, dust baths, corn, napping on our porch, and strawberries. She loves strawberries. Kiki is at the top of the pecking order. The other girls do whatever she does. She is always the one to eat first. She’s their leader. And the youngest. And my favorite because, out of all three, she gets the closest to me 🙂
Roberta. She has a very laid-back personality. She follows Kiki everywhere. I think she feels pretty indifferent about me. She will only get close if Kiki gets close first. She’s definitely a follower. She loves searching for bugs, dust baths, zucchini, and mash. She doesn’t like Marley, any disturbance while she’s nesting, and she doesn’t really care for strawberries.
(Shown left, Roberta is on the right). Ugh. Rhonda. She has been the most trouble. (Yes, I named my chicken Rhonda..which is also my neighbors name. No relation. I hope she isn’t offended). Rhonda is the biggest drama queen. She caused trouble from day one. On the first day, when we were opening the sack to let them into the coop, Rhonda forced her way out and ran– when I say “ran”, I mean sprinted..I’ve never seen a chicken move so fast!- across the yard and into our neighbors fence. Luckily, they were outside. So they came through the woods in their back yard, all five of them, and helped coral our scared hen. Rhonda was terrified of us. We were able to get her back in the yard, but then we just let her be. For the next two days, she sat in the bushes with only her head sticking out. Whenever I would go outside, I sit just close enough to where she was so that she wouldn’t run away, and so that she could get used to my presence. She watched me with the other chickens, but for those two days, she didn’t move an inch. And then, on the third day, she came out of the bushes and joined the flock.
She is the talker. She squawks over everything. She is the lowest in the pecking order. She and Roberta are close, but I’ve never seen Kiki and Rhonda together. She likes strawberries, dust baths, privacy when nesting, and corn. She doesn’t like me, Jason, Marley, being alone, the rake, me, and strangers. Did I mention me? The other day, she had just laid an egg, so I reached in the coop to get it (she was in there alone)..and oh. my. GOSH. You would have thought I was killing this chicken! The way she was squawking and flying around the coop! Just because I stuck my hand in there!
She is terrified of me. But, I respect her. I try to keep my distance. I love my girls, they bring me so much joy! ❤ They are so much fun to watch. I get about 2-3 eggs a day from them, so they are pretty good layers. I’m hoping I can talk Jason into getting another farm animal, perhaps a goat? Pig? We’ll see!
As for me- I planted my garden this past weekend! We’re starting off small, and if we grow successfully this year, then we’ll double the size of our garden next year. Right now, we are trying to grow cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, squash, pickling cucumbers, and yellow and green bell peppers. I’m so nervous about it. I have no idea how to grow stuff, but I guess it’s a learning process! Either way, it will be a fun journey 🙂 I hope to do a home update soon. And perhaps a life update, now that school is ending. A lot of people are asking me what I want to do with my degree…but that’s another post. Happy Wednesday!
Love each other and please recycle ❤ Aaaaaaaaa-men.
PS. See more of my life on Instagram! stacey_belk