Chicken Shit for the Soul

{Originally posted 9/16/13)

1173833_169011526615743_634215447_nFrom left to right: Artemis, Brahma, Auraz

**Note: Retrospectively, this post is funny, and reflective of where I was at, but I have come a long way since I first started raising chickens. Chickens have a TON of personality. I now have three Speckled Sussex who look almost identical. On personality alone I can tell them apart quickly. I cleaned this up a little, but leaving the main feel, as I think it is important to look back and see the way I have evolved and grown as a human being since this.**

Throughout my blog I will post whatever information regarding chicken rearing that happens to come up for me. For those of you who do not (yet) own chickens, they are a mystical species who have the attitude somewhere between a cat and a rock. Snarky and to themselves, unresponsive unless you’re holding food (or running at them) and with shits like a new born baby, they are the ultimate in pet care fun.

But really, they are quite entertaining. Each with their own interesting personality to look on upon with an always peculiar curiosity, they will definitely make your smoke breaks all the more worthwhile. And besides, I hear these creatures are known to lay eggs. …I can’t be sure, I’ve yet to see one with my own two eyes. The lot of them are all about five months and expected commencement of full time laying hood should be here any moment (I’ll be sure to hold my breath).

At this point in time we have three beauties pecking about our yard (the legal amount of chicks, might I add, allowed within Portland city limits without a permit). Auraz is a Barnevelder, dark and light browns, complemented with iridescent blues. She happens to be my favorite, merely because I raised her from two weeks of age and have therefore developed a deeper connection with her. Of all of the girls, she’s the most likely to run to me when called and the least fretful of taking food from my hand. The other two are coming around though. Auraz will be a fairly average layer, 3-4/wk, eggs dark brown in color.

Brahma is mean. I’m not going to sugar coat it; she’s a jerk. Like all the time. She’s beautiful though, laced with whites and blacks, feathers trailing all the way to her toes. Brahma is, well, a Brahma (that’s a variety of chicken y’all, not just the supreme Hindu deity). She will lay average as well, 3-4/wk, eggs light brown in color.

As a side note, I learned something new today about the fowl. Upon checking in on the ladies I noticed a significant lump protruding from Brahma’s right breast. I picked her up and gently examined it. It was relatively hard, but she didn’t react to it in anyway as to signify pain. I thought to myself, “Oh great, where in the heck do I track down a chicken doctor?” I placed her back on the ground and watched her fly away like a bat out of hell (she’s a fan of being picked up). She then preceded to manically hurtle herself at Artemis and I concluded she might be fine. After going back inside I jumped on the comp and googled it. Apparently chicken are inclined to store food in this area before they are ready to grind it up. Looks like I can put case of the chicken doctor on the shelf for another time.

At the bottom of the pecking order we find Artemis, newest to join this lively clan. Artemis was added just after the Chickity China incident, where our little Turken was taken away by a majestic white fox and then ripped to pieces amongst our backyard (chicken talon crafts soon to come!). She will be missed. Artie has been a great addition though and probably the most gorgeous of all the ladies. Multi-colored with creams, whites, blacks, browns… Feathers graciously protrude outwards from her cheeks. Her temperament is overall sweet and she doesn’t seem to mind being held. Or she’s afraid and becomes submissive out of fear. I prefer the former. She is an Americana and will be our star layer one day; from her butt she shall bare eggs in the shade of blue, 4-5/wk.

Well, there you have it. Be ready for updates on laying patterns and winter coop preparation.

529087_163407757176120_274850794_n

Chickity-China; photo precursory to imminent death by majestic white fox.

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