Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Clucky Business

I wish I had taken my camera out to take pictures of our growing little menagerie.  The chickens are a constant source of entertainment.  I have stood and watched them without another thought in mind except to observe their constant comings and goings.  For me, they are a joy.  

We live in a place where fences are considered rude and suspicious (it's a weird little place this town).  And for most of the last eight seasons we have managed without one.  With regard to Las Gallinas is that their coop is out in the open for all to see.  This has led to some wonderful and less than wonderful events.  First the wonderful:  I speak with some neighbor or two every day now.  Before the ladies arrived in their stylish coop, I cannot remember the last time I spoke with my neighbors in passing.  This has as much to do with me as it does with them.  I admit it.  I was hiding out.  Now that I am the only person amongst 800 souls rearing hens, it will take some schmoozing to unruffle those neighborhood feathers.

We actually have a regular Lenten act of kindness.  Okay, it isn't perfect because it is a little self-serving, but we started.  We like it doing it and we will continue.  What is it?  Well, I take some children and a full basket of eggs door-to-door and we share our bounty of cackleberries.  I am able to discuss the legal aspects of chicken keeping along with meeting new people and hearing their stories.  Sometimes I will have a 5 minute exchange, sometimes it is 30 minutes.  It is wonderful to hear who raised birds of their own growing up and who was chased by their rooster.  One neighbor told me a story about how when she and her husband lived in a Pittsburgh apartment they ordered 10 geese for Easter from a hatchery.  She would raise them until they feathered out and then donate them to a local man who raised the birds for meat and eggs (that's a pretty sweet deal for him).  Anyway, that year the hatchery first sent out 24 straight run day old chicks, which they wouldn't allow her to return.  They followed this with 10 ducklings and 10 goslings.  She said their were birds in the bathtub, on the balcony, and in the living room.  And then at 4 weeks, it turned out her straight run chicks were actually all ROOSTERS and they all started to crow.  I can't even imagine.  Eventually, she donated everyone to a local petting zoo.  And not surprisingly, she has not ordered any birds since.

The not so wonderful thing is that we have one neighbor who has resorted to calling anyone and everyone about the chickens.  Her complaining has been fairly frustrating and shrill, but what are you going to do?  Not everyone loves you all the time.

Pictures next time and more news.  More stories if I get them.  I know this was boring.  Thanks for hanging in there.