It’s official. We own chickens. Four of them. Meet the girls:
Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself, “We are going to buy some chickens today.” And so we did.
There is a feed store about 40 minutes away that sells young hens that are already laying eggs. Most of the other stores I contacted only sell baby chicks, and well, considering I already have two baby chicks (and a husband) to take care of, the thought of mothering four baby chicks sort of put me over the edge. It also takes chicks about seven months to start laying eggs, and considering the fact that I don’t even like waiting for the laundry to dry, I decided to go for instant gratification.
It was a totally surreal experience- buying the chickens. We just drove to the feed store, asked for four hens, the clerk put them in a box, and then we drove away. The entire transaction lasted about ten minutes. I couldn’t help but think it was about as anti-climactic as losing your virginity. I kept trying to ask the clerk questions and engage him in conversation, but he was totally over me. I even felt compelled to give him my email address in case he wanted to keep in touch or see how the chickens were doing down the road. I felt bonded to this poor guy and he couldn’t wait to get me out of his store so he could take a smoke break.
I’m sure you are all wondering about the names. Emma wanted to name one of the hens “Kitty”. Ok- no problem. I wanted to name one “Lulu”, after a character in one of Emma’s favorite books Goodnight Lulu. Whitney was set on “Dagny”, one of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged. He actually wanted to give that name to the baby before she was born (he got a big hell-to-the-no from me on that one), so I conceded and let him give the name to one of the chickens. All things considered, that was very generous of me. Don’t you think?
We couldn’t really settle on a fourth name. Emma wanted to name the fourth chicken “Emma”, but since there is a good chance we might eat these chickens one day, I just couldn’t get on board with that. Whitney didn’t really care, so I named the fourth one “Sunny” after my great-aunt. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What is with “Gnocchi” then?” Oh, I am too my friends. You see, Emma is stuck on watching this Curious George cartoon and one of the cats in the show is named “Gnocchi.” Despite explaining to her over and over that the fourth chicken is named “Sunny”, she insists on calling it “Gnocchi”. It seems that the fourth hen is destined to be named after Italian dumplings, so “Gnocchi” it is.
Once we decided on the names, it took a few days for us to assign them to the hens. I have to admit- they are hard to tell apart. Gnocchi has more white feathers than the others, Lulu has a lighter neck, Kitty has a redder neck, and Dagne is lighter all around. I’m glad I’ll have this post and the photo collage as a reference for later. It’s all a bit much to keep track of.
I could go on and on about what life is like at The Little Hen House right now, but I know you guys are all busy. If you want to keep tabs on the hens I’ve dedicated a page on the blog to them. You can find it here- The Literal Hen House. I’ll periodically update it with ramblings about poop, feral cats, broken eggs, and my various misadventures in urban farming. Don’t worry- I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. It’s not for everyone.
Well, enough about my weekend. What did you all do?