Thursday, April 05, 2012

update on (sub)urban chicken farming

Last year I told you about our foray into chicken farming! We bought two cute little chicks and inherited 4 adult layers (for the in-town limit of 6 chickens). Our eldest named the two chicks "Wet" and "Blanket." Why? No one knows!

Well, our experiment went pretty well in that we still have chickens and they lay eggs for us, and it's the highlight of our youngest's day to go out and feed the "bock-bocks" and collect the "eggies." They also have a chicken coop and a nice fenced-in yard with a 5-foot fence. Of course, I look out the window and none of them are actually IN the chicken yard right now...they are scratching around our landscaping looking for tasty treats. We REALLY need to learn to clip their wings!

The sad news, however, is that out of 6 chickens that we started out with last year, we now only have 2. One night shortly after we moved Wet and Blanket outside, a raccoon came and ate the two babies and, not quite satisfied, also got one of the adults. And then there were 3. A couple months later, Joel went out to let them out of the coop and one of them was dead, presumably of natural causes. One night they weren't locked in their coop so they roosted in a more open-air part of the pen and a raccoon came and ate one of the chicken's toes, but luckily couldn't get inside to get any more of her! She survived and is still laying.

We decided that even though we'd had a run of rather bad chicken-luck, we would try again, so last week we bought 4 new baby chicks! EP named them Wet the Second, Blanket the Second, Turkey and Light. He cracks me up! He's spent hours and hours with them, showing them all his stuffed animals, "reading" books to them, and complaining when I won't let him eat snacks while holding them. K asks incessantly, "Chickees? Chickees?" We also call them "baby bock-bocks" so he understands they're chickens. Sometimes if I'm not understanding when he says "chickees" he says "beebe bock-bock?" (which is funny especially since my mom's last name is Beebe and ours is Bock!)

The poor "chickees" are probably feeling quite overly-loved.


Aimee said...

Wow- how did I miss that you had chickens!? Cool!
Sorry to hear you've lost so many. We have raccoons around here, but we've never lost one to that. We have hawks and eagles too, but never lost one to them. We've lost 2 or 3 to "natural causes," which isn't bad.
Glad your kids are getting this experience. So many people these days (and not just kids) have no idea where eggs come from or what that whole process is like.

Kathryn said...

Hi: Just read your chicken blog to Gr.Dick--hilarious! He remembers when he was a kid they had 2 bantam chickens--named "Henny Penny" and "Prince Albert". Sounds like K must be talking by now! Can't wait to see yu all!--about 5 weeks now! We really miss you!!!!