Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Chickens!

The day before Easter, my husband fulfilled a notion he had to start our own backyard sustainable farm. Ok, not completely, but, he did end up getting us 12 tiny chicks of varying breeds. The idea is to raise them for eggs, not meat, most likely.

The kids took to the chicks right away and have already spent countless hours playing with them, feeding them, watching them, attacking them...

Wait, right?

Yeah.  So, after the little peeps grew into teenage chickens and got themselves some serious B.O.,we banished them into the shed which my handy husband re-purposed into a chicken coop, complete with an outdoor pen.

Every morning, the girls would go out and open the door to the coop to let the chickens into their little yard. Then they'd attempt to catch one or two to "snuggle."

(Yes, I know... we need a bunny or something).

Lexi began to name them... so far we have Snuggles, who apparently bit Lex but has since developed into quite a snuggler; Bitey, who... bites; Keysa... Caly named this one... it's little and who knows where the name comes from; Giraffy, who has spotted feathers that reminded Lex of a giraffe; and Feisty, who is the suspected rooster and by far, the largest chicken we have.

Lex has become slightly attached.

Fast forward to a few days ago. The kids were in the coop, giving the chickens the tops of strawberries. I was in the house attempting to throw together some lunch. All of the sudden, I hear Lex shriek,

"MoooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaMMMMMMMMMY!  CALY KILLED A CHICKEN! SHE KILLED KEYSA!" Followed by hysterical crying.

I looked out the window to see Caly with a large stick in her hand, a guilty look on her face, and a chicken on the ground, suspiciously still.

I ran outside and ordered the kids out of the coop so I could assess the chicken. She wasn't concious at first but roused enough that I figured she wouldn't croak for the time being.  I set her up in a box and put her back inside the barn.

Then I turned to Caly, who said, "I don't want to tell you what I was doing."


She eventually spilled and confessed to playing "spank the chicken" because apparently, Feisty was being well, feisty to the other chickens. Keysa got caught in the crossfire.

(An aside, I dearly hope I don't end up with weirdos dropping by now with the name of that transgression).

I had to exercise every ounce of self-control not to laugh outright at her ridiculousness. The things we never think we have to tell our kids not to do are the exact things that certain numbers of them will automatically do. It's a cosmic law of parenting.

Caly has been henceforth banned from entering the chicken coop. This may sound harsh, but the day before, I had to tell her and Sayer that chickens did NOT belong in buckets, no matter how much you wanted to see if they would get dizzy. And days before that, I had to ban her from throwing the chickens to see if they would practice flying.

She's a force. A force that I want supervised during chicken time.

As for Keysa? She's back to normal.

And the chickens have a short memory, because they're willing to let Caly snuggle them again. Or they're too scared to run away.

(Cell shot, sorry for the quality)


  1. Oh what an adventure! Both chicken-rearing and child-rearing. Thanks for letting us in on it. :)

  2. Love her reaction to your arrival - sounds like something Abby would do!

  3. You are the coolest mom EVER

  4. She sounds so much like Emma. She appeared with sticky hands one morning and told me "I don't want to tell you what I was doing." ....she had been drinking snowball syrup. :-)

  5. This is going to be such a great story someday...
    (Hope you don't get google-weirdos too!!)

  6. This is going to be such a great story someday...
    (Hope you don't get google-weirdos too!!)


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