I’ve been thinking about raising hens, talking about having hens, dreaming of hens cackling and clucking in my backyard. With a push from Joette, I dragged home a free and funky coop. With some yellow paint left over from the kitchen, the coop became queen hen worthy.
Tonight my husband is out there building perches and a gate for the run. My hens are coming to roost! I will be picking them up on Friday from Animal Place, a rescue farm.
I had posted a want add on craigslist with the intention of getting myself some free hens but most free hens are old gals and it seems everyone wants hens at this time. I can only assume, in my fantasy world, that urban farming is big right now. So, a lady did write back about this rescue farm in Grass Valley. I’m big on rescuing things. Clyde and Babu are rescues (my dogs) and Maggie the cat was a rescue…sort of. I’ve had some animals just move themselves in and I’m not sure if that would be considered more of a forced adoption.
When the lady called today and ask me adoption readying questions and then informed me that these were factory chickens and therefore their beaks had been snipped, I have to admit I became nervous. I almost wanted to pull out of the deal. These sounded like special needs hens and what if I didn’t know how to meet their needs or heal their chicken spirits?
Once again, Joette stepped in and said, “relax, their chickens, they will settle right in and be fine.”
Now I’m excited. I’ll have to exchange the pellets for crumble because of the beak issue and get my straw. But I can’t wait to have them here. The boys have named them all days before we even knew we would be chicken parents soon; Shimmer, Shine, Daisy, Glitter, and Bumper. They sound like drag queens. IArjan likes that chickens are supposed to be descendants of dinosaurs. Whether this is true to creation, I don’t know. Maybe God said, “this dinosaur thing is out of hand, perhaps something smaller…like a chicken?”
The lady talked me into 5 hens. Oh boy. I had prepared myself for 4 hens. I find it interesting that Arjan and Sammy had chosen 5 names even though I had insisted that we would only have 4.
Those girls better be feisty. We have cats in the neighborhood. Maggie is old and will just sit and watch them as though their mere presence bores her. The other cats are Maui and Spirit and they are playful but small and I’ve been reassured the hens have some spit and vinegar to their spirits, that the cats will be no match. As for my dogs, they are afraid of the cat so I’m thinking they will be more skittish than the hens.
I was worried about the room. The run is more than enough but the hen house is more a 4 hen house but, once again, I was assured that if they can be packed in at 500 to 700 hens they can adjust to 5 in a decently sized coop.
Chicken motherhood begins.