Sunday, August 16, 2015

We've got chickens!

Just over 20 years ago we got a potbellied piglet. We named him Bud and he lived for nearly 19 years. People thought we were a little odd to have a pig for a pet but pigs are hypoallergenic and Art is allergic to everything and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Bud was smart and we mostly enjoyed him for all of his long life.

We thought about getting a few chickens too - in our small town (actually a northern Seattle suburb) you can have eight chickens - but we travel a lot and are gone for four months in the winter. Every now and then we'd feed and water and collect eggs for our next door neighbors Jennie and Jason. We thought it was fun but it was an every-day kind of thing and a responsibility.

Last year my sister Alyx and her husband Virgil moved to Washington from Alaska. They live in their RV in our back yard. And Alyx has always wanted chickens. A month or so ago I got the idea that we could tear down the kids' play structure we've had for over 20 years, and put up a chicken area in its place. I told Art about my idea and he went outside and looked at the play structure and stood there and thought about it for a while. A few days later he texted our grandson Kyle and asked if he'd to earn some money. Of course Kyle said yes - he's 15 and can always use the cash - and Kyle came over for two or three days and he and Art dismantled the play structure. Ladders and floors and roof trusses and a slide and two swings and a ship's steering wheel came down and lay all over the rear section of our side yard.

Then Kyle came over again and helped Art as he repurposed all the wood from the play structure and created a two-story chicken condo. And then Kyle had enough money so he wasn't available, and then Virgil came out and he and Art added doors and fencing.




Then Alyx and her friend Linda went to Portage Bay Grange in Seattle and brought home six pullets (3-month-old egg layers to be) and straw and wood chips and containers for food and water.






The ladies have been here for a week. They have been named Marge, Shyla, Rhoda, Winnie, Mamba and Mary Jane. They have grown. They eat more than the man at the Grange said they would. They have figured out how to get in and out of their coop. They are grand entertainment.


Alyx the Chicken Farmer has her own opinions. You can read about them here.


11 comments:

Muffy's Marks said...

You're living my dream. We can't have chickens in the northwoods.... fox roam freely and would love them for dinner.

joeh said...

Fresh eggs!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, how lovely! A new adventure for sure. We had ducks -- simply as pets -- when I was growing up and I just loved them.
The three of them were all males, so no eggs. But lots of fun with them. They lived quite a few years and brought much joy to my childhood. I hope your chickens bring you joy, too, as well as lots of eggs!

Linda Reeder said...

Well, good for you if that's what you want. I grew up with chickens, and have no desire to have any ever again.

#1Nana said...

I've had those same thoughts about having chickens, but we also like to be able to leave home for extended periods. So, no chickens for us.

Bonnie Bayuk Katrina Clark said...

How Lovely Linda. . Hope there is still room for us chickens in our RV early September? Leaving CT on Weds..

DJan said...

That's great! I went over and read Alyx's post, too. So wonderful to have them around. All our neighbors have chickens so it must be okay around here, too. The rooster isn't as much fun but he's not right next door! :-)

Mona McGinnis said...

I'm in the process of tearing down the chicken yard fence in preparation for a new one. I've never thought of chickens as pets but as a food source and recall the days when we had to process the chickens for the freezer. There is something humbling about tending to the animals, making sure they're fed, watered and sheltered. And I suppose it's relaxing to watch chickens scratch in their yard, like watching fish in a tank.

Deere Driver said...

Well you know I approve! It will be like Easter every day soon enough.

As far as the food, they will eat almost everything. I f you recall, I gave them my scraps and even yogurt and such if the container got moldy or questionable. don't throw any food away. Let the hens have it. Even my neighbors brought over stale cereal, etc. And grubs from your garden! Oh the fuss!!!

Only Jell-O was a dud.
Just what will you do with all those eggs????

Lisa Kuhn said...

Hi Linda! Congrats on the chickens :) That should be fun for you guys. I got caught up on your posts this week. It sounds like you guys are doing well. We're in MV now. Have a WONDERFUL time on your trip!! Say hi to Art & Larisa for us - Lisa (the ex-housesitter)

Retired English Teacher said...

Well, you have started an entirely new adventure! We had chickens when I was a child. I therefore do not like chickens in the yard. They were always scaring me as a child. I do remember that the eggs tasted better and so did the meat. You will enjoy this hobby.