Thursday, April 25, 2013

Playing Chicken

So you may or may not know this about me but I would really like to have my own chickens.

Yes, live ones in a coop.

In my backyard.

I'm inspired by Christine at In the Coop ...yes the very one whom I referenced as an Amazonian in a recent post...she has her own coop.

Clearly she’s more than a clever blog title.

Anyway, when her chickens aren't stressed out by the dogs or the intense Indiana-summer heat, they produce a good number of eggs.

Eggs that her family can eat; and eggs that she sells.

And she told me how easy breezy lemon squeezy they are.

Actually, I’m not 100% certain she said it like that, but she said it was easy.

They’re easy if you can keep them alive. I’m not judging her…just stating a fact. The dogs and the heat were tough on her hen house last summer.

Regardless of possible perils, I started getting excited about the prospect of raising chickens.

But like an IDIOT I called our HOA. It didn't end up like Jase’s experience on Duck Dynasty (here's a link in case you missed it) but in no uncertain terms, they informed me that it was against the neighborhood covenants to own livestock…including chickens.


Not that I would ever advocate attempted deception, but if I hadn’t asked, I could have pled ignorance. Who knows how long it could have gone one? I probably could have gotten away with it for months…maybe years…if we'd kept the coop small and in the backyard (which was the plan by the way…in case you were wondering).

I say “the plan”…I mean “my plan”. I can’t quite say that Mr. Always Random was quite on board with the idea.

But we could have continued the deception…I mean plan, if we also had no roosters. They're the noisy ones...just in case you didn't know. The jig would have been up very quickly (probably in about 4-8 weeks old…that’s the best I can tell in my limited research of when roosters begin their crowing career).

But that brings me to my point...I was looking through my chicken and poultry catalog. 

Yes you read that right. I clearly got on the mailing list after beginning my subscription to “Urban Farmer”.

Feel free to ask me about my garden.

Actually don't. It doesn't exist. I give the magazines to In the Coop after I finish reading them. She MAY have more use for them than I.

But I can envision my garden.

Maybe someday it will exist in real life. It's right there next to my chicken coop, compost pile and rainwater collection barrel.

Currently I'm too busy depleting the ozone with the spray paint on my craft projects to be as green as I'd like.

It's not easy being green. (I think I’ve referenced this before but I can’t remember…even so, it’s worth a repeat, right?)

And I’m not talking about projects from Pinterest, thank you time for that! I spend my real free time writing for you my loyal readers, and I don’t want to be caught up in Pinterest, leaving no time for all of you. 

OK, the few of you.

Anyway I started to talk about chickens. Recently I sent a picture to Christine (you know…of In the Coop fame) of the type of chickens I thought she should get.

Which led to a texting exchange.

I told her I thought she should get these:

At which point she said that they usually get an assortment of chickens, which include that kind, but last year they only got one Ameraucana; they were going to order differently this year (these chickens lay blue and green eggs...who wouldn't want that?).

My reply: I assume you'll want the pullets not the straight run (which I learned are the unsexed ones)...shocked that I looked that up? LOL

Christine: Not shocked at all.  Even when we order pullets, there is always at least one rooster.  They are hard to figure out.

Me: Well I figured it was tricky :) This catalog claims 90% accuracy in sexing.

I had no sooner hit “send” when I heard a voice directly behind me: Ummmm mom? What does THAT mean?

Unbeknownst to me, the 10yo had been privy to the entire "conversation." We were sitting in the car waiting for his brother to finish lacrosse practice. And because he'd only brought 2 action figures to occupy his time for potentially 3 hours (again grounded from iPod and all things electronic) ...not surprisingly he quickly tired of them and was looking for something else to occupy his time.

He's always been one to eavesdrop on audible conversations but hasn't been too nosy (so far as I knew, but now have to wonder…) in my texting conversations. I'll be rethinking that…clearly.

But I digress...I explained that it had to do with the gender of the chickens and that pullets were the "girls " and roosters were the "boys"...and that some people only want pullets because the roosters make too much noise.

I went no further than that.

And because he's not entirely certain on how reproduction works and because I'm saving that special conversation for his father to have with him, I knew I needed a diversion.

“So in order to get the pullets separated from the roosters, they look for the ones wearing the skirts.”

Insert eye roll and an audible huff. “Mom…chickens don’t wear skirts…”

And then he asked me something about lacrosse.

Perfect ...mission accomplished.


  1. Haha!

    The first time he hears the word "sexting" this is what he will think it means.

    You know you are welcome to come feed my chickens and weed my garden anytime you like. :)

  2. My O wants chickens, since our town is a "free bird" town we can have them. no HOA can stop us, altho we don't actually have an HOA we have the over inflated egos for the "historic society" who patrols the neighborhood in a golf cart. looking for non "historic" additions or construction in the neighborhood. {Shhh we are changing out a window this weekend, hope the golf cart stays off our street!} Someone famous to the state lived in our neighborhood so the patrols feel important.