Chickens in the Coop

They seem to be enjoying it. (For the record, it’s habitable but not finished. Eventually, what you see here will be painted awesome colors, inspired by grandmas who live in Miami and like to go to the beach, and there will be a chicken ladder instead of straw and a plank, arrrrrr matey.)

Chickens!

Photo Friday: Ladies

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Josephine, Margarita’s butt, Gertrude

Look how big they’re getting! Ben took the day off today to work on the chicken coop. We’re hoping to have it ready for them to move in by the end of the weekend. Holy hell they’re getting huge!

I love how we have bird curtains and a bird light fixture and . . . birds. Egads we’re crazy.

Chicken Social Hour

Every evening, we exile the dogs to the back of the house and bring the chickens into Soren’s room for Chicken Social Hour. We use Soren’s room because it has a door that closes (to keep the cats out) and wood floors (because chickens poop a lot and Chicken Social Hour is always followed by Dedicated Mopping Time).

Sometimes we worry that the girls get bored hanging out in their brooder (I’ll give you the details on our brooder soon) all the time. We also want them to be socialized and to enjoy hanging out with us, so we take this time to try to show them that hanging out with us is awesome and fun. I think we succeed most of the time. As I learned in chicken class, some (but not all) chickens enjoy being held. I’d say 2/3 of ours are into it. Josephine (the Red Star) is my BFF and loves to sit on my hand while I pet her and even sometimes dozes off for a second. Margarita (the Barred Rock) seems to enjoy this, too. Gertrude (the Delaware) will tolerate the holding and petting for a little but mostly wants to walk around and talk shit.

Honestly, it’s super fun for me to hang out with the chickens. Something about chickens is incredibly peaceful and relaxing. They’re just — I don’t know — really nice little animals. Well, birds, but you know what I mean. They wander around the room together, exploring and pecking, talking to each other — doing chicken things. They seem pretty attached to each other. They’re always in a little group and seem to get stressed out if they can’t see each other. Gertrude, especially. If you have her separated from the other chicks, even for a few seconds, she gets all squawky, like hey, where my girls at?!

We have about four or five more weeks until the ladies will move outside to their coop (which we still have to build). It’ll be great to have them situated out there, but I’m going to miss hanging out with them in the house.

chicken social hour

Margarita

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Margarita and a freshly bathed Soren

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Gertrude

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blurry Josephine

 

Fun at the Dog Party

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Although we have 100 dogs (slight exaggeration), we don’t go to the dog park very often. First of all, you can’t really take a toddler to the regular dog park. The other problem is that our dogs aren’t really good at it.

Coltrane hates the dog park. Hates it. As a black lab/border collie, he has the desire to herd other dogs but lacks the intelligence to figure out how to do so (no offense). So at the dog park, Coltrane runs from one group of dogs to another, barking his fool head off because he wants them to all be in one group together but he has no idea how to make this happen. Coltrane doesn’t chase balls; he chases dogs chasing balls. It was at the dog park that we realized Coltrane’s name should’ve been Urlacher — he’ll pretty much flatten any dog trying to fetch anything. This doesn’t make him a big hit with people or dogs at the dog park. The last time we took him to a dog social event, he spent the entire time yelling at the kids to get off his lawn and falling into the pool from which he had to be rescued because he couldn’t figure out how to get out (hint: stairs).

Peaches just tries to eat other dogs. In her defense, that last one looked like a big dollop of vanilla ice cream on legs, but I can’t take a dog who tries to eat other dogs to the dog park. That’s rude.

Sadie, obviously, is the brains of the operation over here. The problem with her is that as the Houdini of the dog world, an unusually small miniature pinscher can escape from most enclosures meant to contain dogs, such as most dog parks. The other problem is that as a small dog who believes she is a large dog, I’m always afraid bigger dogs will try to eat her.

So, although the effort possibly outweighs the reward, we take Sadie to a small dog meetup once a month, whether she likes it or not. This involves driving with Sadie in a car (fun times) and going to a dog daycare center with a reasonably decent fenced area that can contain small dogs.

Sadie, as a small dog who believes she is a large dog, has little use for other small dogs, so she occupies herself by wandering around being aloof, following us, and playing with Soren, who comes along because, well, small dogs probably aren’t going to hurt him and are fast enough to avoid him when necessary and because, well, if he didn’t, we’d never go.

To tell you the truth, I never used to like little dogs. I was a big-dog person. I’m still a big-dog person, but now I’m a little-dog person, too. Which I think makes me kind of weird, but that’s cool.

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I am not embarrassed to say that this shit is straight from Gossip Girl: