Introduction from a Chicken Farmer

I won’t give much of an introduction in regards to my blogging experience.  I started blogging when I was 13, had this WordPress for a few years and never went anywhere with it, blah blah blah.  I like writing a lot.  I have no idea what I’m doing on WordPress, but I’m quite motivated to learn now (I’ll get into that later).

IMG_5930.JPG
Quackers and her babies: Hetty, Silver Bell, Lonely Chicken, Patches, Curly, & Flattop

 

Now at the beginning of April my life took some crazy turns.  Crazy, happy turns.  With very little effort on my part, two amazing things happened: I started managing an awesome tattoo shop and I became a chicken farmer.  And the reason I have to blog now is because, way too often lately, when I try to explain my life to people IRL they look at my like I’m the crazy one.

I had a cock problem.  That’s how I became a chicken farmer.  Since midsummer of last year I began to befriend and care for my neighbour’s chickens.  This lovely hen, Quackers, discovered I had a bird-feeder in my backyard and started taking her cute 6 chicks with her.  I slowly built trust with them.  Lots of people asked me: “Did you pick up the chicks?”  The answer is no.  I didn’t pick up my first chicken until less than two weeks ago.  That’s how obsessed I was with building trust with my dear chicken friends.

Oops, I digressed a little there.

So my neighbour had the chickens whom I cared for lots.  Then my neighbours decided to move.  They were renting their house, along with a couple who lived in the basement unit, and part of the agreement was that they “managed” the property.  They left, and no one has yet taken over the upstairs.

When they left, the actual owner who lives an hour or so away had text messaged me saying it would be great if I kept taking care of the chickens.  My neighbour, the lovely lady who actually raised and cared for the chickens, left me a heartfelt voicemail saying how she was hoping to say bye to me (I had just started working at a tattoo shop and missed her call) and that she had to leave and she wasn’t sure what was happening with the chickens but she talked to the owner and, well… it would be great if I could keep caring for them.

Well, I FUCKING LOVE CHICKENS.

I’m absolutely thrilled at the opportunity.  And I didn’t consider myself a chicken farmer quite yet.  I took over the old barn behind my house and tried to figure it out.  Over the winter, very sadly, many chickens passed away, about 4 different feral cats invaded the barn, some of the coyotes were likely more desperate, and more than half of the flock of chickens were killed.  In the end, I was left with 5 cocks and a hen.

Hence my problem with too many cocks.  People looked at me very funny because I kept focusing so much on my actual problem that I forgot people weren’t on the same page as me and didn’t realize I use every opportunity I can to call my pet roosters “cocks.”

To backtrack to Quackers, with the first six chicks I got to know (she later had 4 more which died within a week or two sadly, and Snowpea had six chicks I also got to know well), many of them grew up to be my cocks.  Quackers sadly passed away, as did the first chicken I named and my first favourite, Hetty, and her sister, Silver Bell.  The other four chicks she had grew to be my roosters: Patches, Curly, Flattop, and Lonely Chicken.  I’m seriously going to make a chart or something at some point so it’s easier to follow.

IMG_0638.JPGLong story short I had Lonely Chicken (my new favourite after his dear sister Hetty passed), Flattop, Curly, Patches, and this other cock, Houdini, and the one hen left, Freckles, this tough hen who is apparently a “show hen.”  She’s a big girl and has established herself as the top of the hen pecking order.  One day she came out of the forest by the barn and that’s how she joined the crew.

5 cocks and 1 hen is NOT a good ratio.  And keep in mind I had/have no idea what I’m doing.  So I called some egg stores, hatcheries, co-ops, etc. and announced to the elderly ladies over the phone that I had a cock problem.  I had 5 cocks and one hen.
“Oh dear, that IS a problem!” they would reply, and they were very helpful.
In the end I posted an ad on Kijiji and this amazing farmer from an hour away delivered 15 hens to my barn and I officially became a chicken farmer.

I now own 5 cocks and 16 hens.  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

My animal-loving attitude doesn’t stop there.  I regularly see my 4 delightful (indoor) kitties, my two friendly and cute hamsters, and my mom’s two doggies, Chelsea Ann and Mabelline.  I also visit pets a lot.  Today I borrowed my neighbour’s dog, Brandi, and I’ve also had the other neighbour’s dog, Honey, over.  I went to my nephew’s farm yesterday and saw about 8 calves and baby calves (aka calves and NEW-FUCKING-BORN calves) and I patted some cows and my nephew and I really wanted to pat “Sheepy” the only sheep more but she wasn’t very food-motivated.  My lucky nephews also adopted two baby kittens (again less than a month old kittens!) named Smokey and Pokey and they were SUCH dolls to cuddle.

My one friend owns a horse so I try to visit him sometimes.  My sister-in-law has a lovely orange/tabby/calico kitty named Tia, my brother-in-law has a cute tabby named Bella.  My mother-in-law has two dogs, as does my father-in-law (they’re divorced).  My sister has an adorable cat named Thomas/Tony but she lives in Australia so I’ve never met Tony nor my beautiful baby human nephew.  I like to walk by the neighbourhood horses a lot and I drive sllllllllowly by the local mini-horse and Highland Cow farms.

I have a glass aquarium ready to turn into a toad terrarium as soon as the baby toads come out.  I haven’t seen many at my house, but I’ve seen 20+ in a day at my parents’ place so I’m just going to take those babies.  My dad keeps asking me not to, and to instead take the squirrels, since he is big into bird-watching and the squirrels are ruining that for him.  They keep getting stuck in the bird-feeders hahahaha.

And that’s the gist of my animal-lovin’ life so far.  There are a lot of other aspects to my life but animals are super important so I thought I would cover that first.  I’m really, really proud of myself that I became a chicken farmer.  I had a picnic with the chickens today and they loved it.

 

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