2.10.2015

The Girls

I feel like I've cheated on my chickens, waiting until now to write about them.  The Girls.  My Girls.  They were city girls before becoming country girls.  I started with nine, and ended up with three.  The others didn't make it as they met their maker through the mouth of a K-9.  Why is it that everyone makes a big deal out of the cat and mouse charade, but not the dog and chicken charade?  I have barn cats, and I've never even seen one of those darn things chase a mouse.  I digress.  So as I was saying, “The Girls”.   It all started out as, "Well its Easter.  We may as well get chickens because Atwoods has them, and their weekly ad suggests we buy some."  So we did.  If you think I'm a sucker you're right. 
My less than stellar photography skills show fluffy blobs which are actually my girls.
After the untimely demise of  a half dozen newly hatched eggs, the remaining three earned their names.  Red (she's a red chicken so duh, her name is Red), Agnus, and Gertie.  As if losing sleep over having five children wasn't enough I started to lose any remaining sleep I had over my girls.  Are they cold?  Will they freeze to death?  Should I buy them sweaters?  Is the heat lamp on?  Are they hot?  Should I make them popsicles?  But I needn't worry.  These birds are tough birds.  We moved them out to the country with us, and they proved to be even tougher than I thought.  Agnus had nine lives (she lost her ninth life between the jaws of my least favorite dog in the whole wide world...at the moment anyway).  Red lost two toes to frost bite but walks without a hobble or limp.  Gertie survived a few near death experiences in her time as well.  She only lost a handful of feathers to our dog and kept on cluckin'. 
The girls greet me outside my kitchen window one fine morning.
So, like most things out here, it's a learning process.  I knew nothing about chickens.  But I was obsessed with them.  If I could have wrapped them up and put them in a baby carriage to parade them around the mall or take them to play dates at the park I would have.  Instead I read what I could, and consulted my two good chicken friends, pecking their brain about everything chicken.  And then one day it happened.  My girls laid their first eggs!  Oh what a long awaited glorious day.  I had waited seven whole long, lengthy, are we there yet, months for those first three eggs.  Naturally, I arranged them on a book of wisdom I had devoured and took pictures.  I regret not making them baby bracelets and bonnets.  Instead, my husband quickly fried them up, before I could place them gently in a glass display case for all to see.   
  
I highly, highly, highly recommend this book.
Today, Red stands as the sole survivor of the original three girls.  I'm pretty sure she smokes cigars, drinks whiskey and eats bacon.  The population of Chickenville had grown  to over 20 since it was established by the  first three.  I don't name them anymore.  It makes mourning their death easier when I find them dismembered by a hawk, owl, bobcat, or that dad-gum dog.  And because of that dad-gum dog, the chicken population is now down to eight.  To be fair, the others fell prey to hawks or owls.  But I have a delivery on the way of 25 more brand spankin' new baby chicks.  Not just 25, but five of five different breeds.  Eggs-citing times are ahead.  
The girls scratch and sniff around the flower bed which they soon destroyed.  I forgave them. 

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