Monday, June 01, 2009

Bucket o' chickens

So we've got chicks. Now comes the hard part: Getting a coop and run built before they outgrow the house. In the meantime, they're living in a cat-proof tub in the living room:

The chopsticks through the corners of the hardware cloth top lock it down so that our indoor-only kitteh Bart (whose middle name is Evil) doesn't decide to see if dey haz a flavur. So far, he hasn't shown as much interest in them as in the House Finch fledglings that have been hanging out around outside the living room window, but we don't want to take any chances.

For now, the chicklets seem pretty comfy. We're letting them out three or four times a day to bond and exercise. They're so much fun to watch, but they wear out pretty quickly at this age. Here's Joni having a loll while her sisters snuggle:

Tom is new to poultry, despite having been a foster dad to wild things ranging from quail to otters, but pet chickens were a big part of my childhood. There was Herman, who started out as a gaudily dyed Easter chick and grew up to be a ferocious White Leghorn rooster, Jicken (pronounced with a French "j"), a gorgeous Dominique rooster that my mom named for his floppy, beret-like raspberry comb, and Cluck, a very lucky White Leghorn battery hen who came to us in a large box labeled "YEAR'S SUPPLY OF EGGS." I used to love going to the Fort Worth Livestock Show during poultry week to soak up all the incredible diversity among chicken breeds, and we'd like to have some of that diversity in our little flock. Maybe we'll adopt a couple of tribble-like Silkies, a mop-topped Polish, a sleek, satiny Sumatra....

To keep this from morphing into a poultry blog, we'll keep the chicken posts to a minimum here (but hey—at least they're birds). Chickens are really hot right now, though, so we may start a new blog just for our close encounters of the gallinaceous kind.

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