Thursday, May 2, 2013

Just Us Chickens

Here's how it's all been going down.....

I have wanted chickens since, about, for-ev-ah.  Urban cooping, they call it.  Keeping chickens is all the rage, in case you haven't heard.  It's hip, it's healthy, and it's fabulous.

And my Buzzard is not interested in being fabulous.  :-(

I go in spurts.  I rally for my cause and stay up late reading  Then I let it go for a bit......we have a very small yard, there are hawks and coyotes in our neighborhood, city ordinances, yada...yada...yada.  That old Buzzard is just plain full of depressing facts.

But this week, Kenny arrived on my doorstep, bearing a half dozen fresh brown eggs.  Kenny is our same friend who showed up with a squirrel one day.  He's taken to urban cooping, and is, in fact, taking it BY STORM. What started as a few chicks has grown into a full blown organic egg business for him, complete with roosters crowing in his garage at the crack of dawn.  The great irony here is that Kenny is married to one of my dearest high school girlfriends, who is, by all accounts, completely and totally, a hundred thousand percent NOT INTERESTED in urban cooping.  She and Buzzard have lots to chat about,  apparently.

Anyway.  The eggs.  Oh how delighted I was over my eggs.  Big plans have I for those little dears.  Of course, Kenny came in to visit.  And of course, I had a million questions.  And of course, Kenny got me all fired up (again!!) about coops and runs and the egg laying stats of a Buff Orpington.  And of course, Buzzard broke a sweat across his brow.

So yesterday morning at the crack of early, my phone rings and it is Kenny.  He ordered a new shipment of baby chicks.....they arrived at the post office earlier than he expected.....they need to be picked up.....he is due to be out of town on business.....and would Emma and I be at all interested in chick sitting for some two day old babies?????

WOULD WE BE INTERESTED?!!  Bring me thy chickens.

They arrive, and I immediately text a photo to Buzzard and some friends.

This is the part where Buzzard begins to wonder if he has been set up.  It was all too fun not to let it play least for a little while.  I realize at this point that if I have any chance of being promoted from chicken sitter to chicken owner, I've got to play my "A" game.  So, I ask Emma if she would like to keep the cheeping fluffy puffballs in her bedroom.  Next to her bed.  Because I intimately know the powers of a five year old, and I (accurately) estimated it would take three eighths of a nano-second for Emma to fall in loooooove with the chickens and begin trailing her Daddy like a shadow on his heel begging, begging, begging for chicken puffballs of her own.

Well sure, this is considered playing dirty.  But this is what a girl has to do if she really wants to break into the poultry business around here.

Buzz ends up coming home for lunch to investigate the issue and questions every tiny little thing.  I'm telling you, the man is made of steel.  How is it humanly possible not to be WON OVER by a tiny puffy ball of peeping, chirping wonderfulness??  There is seriously nothing cuter than a newborn chick.  (Except maybe the sight of a man on the side yard building his wife a coop.  That's a pretty cute thing too.)  Anyway, put a little livestock in the upstairs bedroom and he gets all testy.  SHEESH.  I had to confess that they belonged to Kenny because he was acting like the SWAT team was due to show up here any minute to raid my gardenia bushes for bantam hens.  I reassured him I would never dishonor him by doing something I KNEW he didn't want me to do, and that supposedly violated some wildly restrictive and unfair city ordinance.  Even chickens.

But gosh.  They are so fun.  We've had the neighbors in.  We march them all upstairs to show off our finely feathered brood.  Emma beams with pride.  The kids and I dart up there many, many times a day to check on them.  We just stand over the Rubbermaid tote gawking at their playful sweetness, and croon about how fabulous they are.  (I warned Kenny we are creating very vain birds.)  You can hear the constant peeping all the way downstairs, even through closed doors.  PRECIOUS sounds.

Today we loaded them up in the van (along with our bearded dragon) and hauled everyone to homeschool co-op for Max's biology class.  They have been studying birds and reptiles, so the teacher was thrilled to have visitors, and Kenny graciously agreed to let us take his sweet babies.  I was driving the Chicken Express!!!  It's the first week of May and we're having these crazy temperature swings in Texas, and today was cold and windy and rainy.  A bad day in general for transporting barnyard animals in a Toyota.  So I wrapped the chicken box in a handmade quilt.

I'm telling you.  I'm this in love with baby chicks.  My handmade quilts.  Around a box of chickens.  Urban cooping.  It's all the rage.  Pleeeeeeease, won't somebody tell the Buzzard??????  :-)

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