January 23, 2011

January 14, 2011

The Unplanned Chicken

So we have our first chicken. I have no idea how old she is but according to her previous owners she doesn't even lay eggs anymore, so I guess she is a pet chicken. We had thought about getting some chickens for a couple years now but the goats keep us so busy we just never got around to really deciding on chickens or not. I am afraid our farm has always been chickenless, though a few wild turkeys did decide to make our place the local turkey hang out a couple years ago.

So why did we get a pet chicken in January? After spending almost $15 on chicken feed and grit I am not so sure anymore myself but she has a nice personality and surprisingly this one I think I can blame on my husband, at least for the most part. See the unplanned chicken is actually Jamey's chicken.

The new guy that baled our hay pastures last year (and did a much better job than the hay guy before him) is also a person that used to work with Jamey. I think it was around the time the hay was baled that Jamey went over to his house for some reason and came home talking about some chicken that roosted on their porch. I didn't pay too much attention, I was probably thinking about goats at the time.

Several months went by and we were invited to these people's house one evening to play board games. I had not been there before but as soon as we got out of the car Jamey pointed out the chicken roosting on their patio table and proceeded to tell me all about her again. I guess she refused to stay in the chicken coop because the other chickens picked on her and so she roosted on their front porch every evening instead. She did seem pretty friendly for a chicken, softly clucking "hello" (I guess that is what she was saying) at everyone that walked up to their door like their own little feathered Wal-Mart greeter, all she needed was a tiny blue smock. Jamey even had to go pick her up and show her to me that evening. I watched him carry that bird around and started to wonder if he was smitten with that chicken.

Our friends told Jamey he could take the chicken home on several occasions, personally I think they were getting a little tired of the chicken poo on their patio table and porch. I can't say that I blame them one little bit, if the greeter at Wal-Mart pooed in front of their store I am sure Wal-Mart would fire her pretty quick too.

Jamey wanted to bring her home at that time but I said "no, no" and reminded him we had no place to put her since we have no coop and the room in the old farmhouse/shop was occupied by Cookie the goat expecting winter kids at the time. I was also afraid with no place for her to stay at night some coyote or owl might get her, we have lots of both around our farm.

So we didn't bring the chicken home and time went by. Our friends graciously invited us back over to their house several times and there was still always that chicken sitting on their front porch table.

Then came January and our mild winter turned cold, really cold. It snowed and the weatherman said it would get down in the negative numbers that night. The goats all have shelters so I knew they would be OK and we now had a place in the old farm house to put a chicken since Cookie and her two maturing kids had since been graduated back outside with the other goats. I called Jamey when he got off work and asked him if he wanted to go get that chicken, so he did.

It was all last minute and not thought out at all. So that night we fed her some all stock grain, sunflower seeds, some lettuce (which she turned her beak up at) and some seedless grapes which she did like. We also made her a temporary nest box and perch. The video was taken that first night, the room is actually well lighted and not dark at all when the light is on but for some reason my cheapo camera just makes indoor pictures or video all look dark like this unless I use the flash (which I can't do on video.)

They said she was a Cinnamon Queen chicken. I assume that is a breed like a Red Star or Red Sex Link chicken? I guess we will call her Cinnamon. I know goats but chickens are new for us, so feel free to offer advice! Maybe in the spring we will get some more chickens, some passive ones so they don't chase and bully her out of the coop again. Oh yes I guess we need to build a coop too!

Winter - Farm Photo of the Week

Winter on the Farm