I know, I am constantly announcing upcoming posts that never turn out to be quite so upcoming… but last month I posted “Adventures in Wisconsin Part I” and I have been waiting for the day when I dared to post part II.
Out with the old in with the new.
Or one Farmgirl’s trash is another Farmgirl’s treasure.
I have wanted to for a couple years but we could not afford the fence it would require. Anyone I told looked at me like I was nuts but I had calculated that I spend about $500 a year on eggs and never have as many around as I’d like, nor do I buy the kind I really would like to. Organic AND free range. Those bad boys are a good 4-plus dollars a dozen.
Are they docile?
scream like I never knew a chicken could make and Joel looked at me like,
“What the h— are we doing?”
He was freaking out that we were going to get home and this bird was never going to shut up attracting all sorts of unwanted attention to our little wanna-be urban farmstead.
“What comes first, the chicken or the ordinance?”
…was the title to a piece in a magazine I saw recently and it’s a good question but you see – I don’t care. I had heard that it was not allowed in our town and I got it in my head that that was just plain STUPID. You can keep chickens in a lot swankier suburbs than ours… Evanston, Batavia, Oak Park for pete’s sake! Who should care what is going on behind my fence? I wasn’t getting a rooster and at least chickens can’t bark! My neighbors stupid dogs bark at me thru my kitchen window every time I wash my dishes. As if they have never seen me before! OK, maybe not EVERY time but they drive me nuts when they do.
“No way, we aren’t taking those ones, I don’t care how bad you want blue eggs”…
To which I shot him back the silent
“Too bad buddy, I am getting my way on this one!” look.
We finally get them all loaded and calmed down, we’d driven a total of 3 hours so far that day and we have a two hour drive home, at dinner, in rush hour with two tired adults, three starving children and eight hens a-layin’ in the back of our truck. I was giggling at the thought of the hilarious memory we were making.
It wasn’t going to be funny for much longer…
“Buck, buck Buccccckkk!!!!”
And then we hit traffic on the Madison beltline like I have NEVER seen before in Chicago and that is saying a lot. I mean, red lights all the way to the horizon and we’re going like point nothing miles and hour!!! The truck began to smell a little like “you know what” and our (human) chickens began to get hungry. It got so tense that Joel jerked that Suburban off the highway, sending birds flying, into a Radio Shack parking lot to buy a GPS for a better route home and then into a McDo parking lot for french fries… the only food we eat from McDo.
I could just see it, we were gonna drive home in the freezing air in a now stinking truck, with three wired chickens, 8 freaked out hens, two strung out adults and a door tied shut with my camel colored Pashmina I got in Paris that I had around my neck.Yee. Haw.Thankfully his crazy knife came in handy and we were on our way once again. People and birds began to fall asleep which was good cause the hard part was still ahead of us and we had to plot it out very carefully: Getting our Chickens to bed and getting the City Chicks QUIETLY out of those boxes and into our arms for a crash course in
We got home, locked The City Chicks in the truck, put the kids to bed and then carefully carried the boxes of birds into the school barn. Feathers flapping and claws scratching away! We decided to cut our teeth on the docile Bovans so we carefully undid the tape and Joel reached the entire upper half of his body into the box which began to jerk around, the squawking of birds and flapping of wings filling the air. He jumped out, slammed the box shot, regrouped and went in again. One by one he got those girls out and I clipped their wings with a print out off someones website page on “how to” at my side. One by one we put them into the coop. Mind you, before this night I had never even touched a fricken’ chicken!
I am happy to say they didn’t even go into shock and egg production began the next morning!!! Three were molting when we bought them so we were getting an average of 5-6 a day for a couple weeks but now we are into our 5th week and I have already gathered over two dozen since Saturday!!! It’s not uncommon for us to get 8 eggs a day. We are, officially never without food.
I could not be more thrilled.
I am not an animal person, in that I don’t gush over animals but I sure love my City Chicks. (As always when I say Chickens on this website I mean my children lest there be any confusion.)They are each named after Jane Austen Characters…
Lady Catherine “DeBird” (She’s the loud, opinionated one)
Miss Jane Bennett
Miss Elizabeth Bennett
Miss Elinoir Dashwood
Miss MaryAnn Dashwood (another loud, sassy one)
Miss Margret Dashwood
Miss Emma Woodhouse
Miss Anne Elliot
Le poulier is called “Henberly.” Because we could not resist. Corny. We know. But my manly hubby loves Jane Austen as much as I do.
I have not blogged about it because my neighbors read my blog… not that I would ever dream they would have a problem with it but just out of the whole “loose lips sink ships” thing. They are all hard core locals and I am the transplant. They know a lot more people around here than I do… if the wrong person found out… it sounds paranoid, but we went thru so much to get to this point and we love our Single Ladies (another knick name) so much…
I was at a neighborhood luncheon on Saturday and was amused to find out that everyone already thought we had them because of a crack I made weeks ago on my blog about butchering chickens in my back yard. I denied it so much that they all let it go for a moment and then I said,
“But if I DID have chickens, would anyone report me?”
(The alderman’s wife, a friend, sitting at my side!)
At least they will know who to come to if they need an egg.
Now, one more hurdle.
The village comes to inspect our fence on Friday…
how to keep those squawkers quiet?
We’re gonna hide them in the basement!
Say a prayer!
Half way there. There is a door on the right to walk in and feed them and a door on the left to walk in and clean under the roosting bars.
Inside, pre-paint. I’ll show you the almost finished product in the next few days. It’s even decorated a bit for Christmas but I can’t wait to go for it next spring… now if they would just stop crapping everywhere….