As President Ronnie Budge reported in the September Garden Beet, I’m keeping busy and entertained these past months by a small flock of chickens.
Last March when COVID-19 hit, I knew I wouldn’t be getting together with all my grandkids and little great-grandkids and I also knew I wanted something alive to care for. (Although plants are my love, they don’t bark, meow or entertain me with their antics.) So, I took advantage of the five free baby chicks offered by the Grange plus the last two Araucanas they had still available. A lot of other Rogue Valley residents must have had similar thoughts about raising chickens, judging from the numerous customers that day.
One tale I heard was about a lady who got some chicks, a coop, feeding and watering containers, a heat lamp, starter feed, shavings … the whole needed enchilada! Then she heard it was going to be four months down the road before getting those first eggs, and she loudly exclaimed, “What?! I’m not waiting that long!” and cancelled the entire order.
Must say, I had a lot of fun selecting and naming my chicks. The two cute little blondes are Goldie Hahn … whoops, I mean “Goldie Hen”… and Dolly P, because Dolly P had a habit of roosting on top of the feed container and depositing debris over the side.
The white chick is “Flipper” because she can flip the shavings clear across their coop. Now, she’s a bit of a bully, flipping off the other hens as she runs through them or on top of them; whatever it takes to get where she wants to go.
The two black chicks are Hickity & Pickity. You know, from the old English nursery rhyme’s “Hickity, Pickity my black hens; they lay eggs for gentlemen; gentlemen come every day to see what my black hens doth lay.”
The two Araucanas are Elvira and Eggberta and they are giving me those pretty blue eggs.
It seems to me you often get a surprise rooster among your new chicks and I had a name picked out, just in case: Noah, meaning there would be no-ah eggs from this one. That name is still in reserve. Maybe next time.
My granddaughter likes ducks. She ordered six, reporting that all are “boys!” When that became apparent, she ordered more, and is guaranteed “girls” this time.
Raising birds and/or animals requires a sense of humor, right? Something similar to raising a dwarf plant that reaches skyward! Hopefully, we’ll get back to plants, next year.