Saturday, June 28, 2014

Just call me the Crazy Chicken Lady (Part 1)

Ooh.  I'm back!

I'm gonna get all Rambly on ya!  You have been warned!

Annnnnd, I am blogging on my severely anemic Netbook, so I'll probably have to post pictures later (when I'm on my laptop).  Not sure if I'll post and update - or just keep it sitting in drafts - or just post crappy, unedited phone pics.  Who knows?!  

Plus - I've got TWO things to post about!  So that might result in two (or more!) new posts! 


(Yes!  Srsly!!)

First up:  CHICKENS!

I know I've blathered-on about liking my fresh, organic produce.  I belong to a CSA, and we've got a pretty-stinkin'-awesome Farmer's Market, on Sundays year-round, just down the street from my house.

Lately, I have been REALLY enjoying Farm-Fresh Eggs.  Good-Friend-P had 4 chickens (two of which were ostensibly "mine"), so I used to get my eggs from her.  Now she's down to two hens - and they're not as productive anymore.  So I've been getting my eggs from the weekly farmer's market.

Then I got the Wild-@$$ed idea that I oughtta get chickens of my own.  Yes, we can own chickens in suburban San Jose.  I think we are limited to 6 "small animals" (so 3 dogs + 3 chickens).  Hens only.  And the coop has to be situated at least 20 feet from the nearest residence...

The thing is, I didn't want your plain ol' "garden variety" chicken.  No sirree!  I wanted "Exotic" chickens!  And (here we go with rambling and reminiscing!) we used to have chickens when I was younger.  

(Odd, how I have so many memories associated with chickens! lol)

Back when I was 13 or 14, Dad and I got "exiled" to mom's recently-inherited Utah home.  Long, boring story, but we spent two years living in my grandparents' teeny little 2BR/1BA house on one acre of land (surrounded by 18 acres of pasture - which was bequeathed to my uncles).  We had barns and sheds and even an outhouse! (although, thankfully, the house *did* have indoor plumbing!).  Anyway, Dad and I had loads of fun "Playing Farmer" on mom's inheritance.  We had dogs, goats, ducks, geese, a horse (much to my mother's dismay), an FFA steer (briefly), and a whooooole lot of chickens.

Now I am 100% San Francisco Bay Area Native - born-n-raised - so my Farm-Sense was somewhat lacking.  We had found a local chicken-farm - with all kinds of exotic breeds - and dad would take me there to pick out chickens.  I, being the complete-and-utter-noob, was drawn to the "pretty ones."  And the "pretty ones," generally-speaking, were roosters!  So our "farmyard" consisted of the aforementioned menagerie, as well as a WHOLE LOTTA frustrated roosters!

(in retrospect, I'm sure the guys at the chicken farm must've LOVED us - since we took all of the roosters off their hands!).

Anyway, we had White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Easter-Eggers, and a whole slew of Banties (Bantam Game-Cocks, Mille Fleurs, Cochins, and probably a bunch more that I can't recall offhand).  There was one breed that I always wanted, but we could never find: Polish.

So, since I got this wild idea - NOW (Jeez, almost 40 years later?! I feel like such a Geezer!) - By Gawd, I am gonna GET my Polish Chicken!

Polish Chickens come in Bantam and Standard sizes.  I figure, since we want eggs worth eating, Standard was the way to go.  

Okay, gonna condense a lot of Rambly-Blah-Blah-Blahs here and say that I found a "somewhat local" hatchery, online, that carried my much-coveted Polish chickens (specifically, White-Crested Black Polish).
C'mon...  Tell me that isn't a cool-lookin' chicken!!

I ordered my Polish hen (lays white eggs), an Ameracauna (lays green eggs), and something else (can't recall - but it laid brown eggs).  I figured I was being all "Scientifical" about it - buying hens that laid different colored eggs so I could tell Who's-Who, right?  And Good-Friend-P also wanted two baby-chicks, so I added hers to my order as well...

I placed my order back in March, and got an Auto-Responder email that said that they'd ship my day-old chicks in --- MID-JUNE 


I briefly considered cancelling my order but then realized that I totally wasn't ready (what-with not owning a chicken-coop and all that), so I let it ride...

So then I surfed online and found a reasonably-priced chicken coop on  Not gonna bother linking b/c they don't carry the same coop anymore.  So I got my coop (it was surprisingly easy to assemble, actually).  I also "beefed it up" a bit by adding hasps (and padlocks) to deter raccoons and opossums (which we do have in our 'hood), and stapled hardware mesh to the bottom (again, critter-deterrents).

My coop, before I added hasps and locks and turned it into Fort Knox!

Then I waited for my chicks' arrival.  I even cleared a space in the TiKi-ShAcK for a temporary box-brooder...

Ya know what?!  I'm gonna be a total bee-atch and say that this seems like a good "stopping point!"  HA!  How Rude?!

To Be Continued........

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