Monday, March 19, 2012

Pick a Little, Talk a Little, Pick a Little Talk a Little, Cheep Cheep Cheep, Talk a Lot, Pick a Little More...

So I had walking pneumonia this weekend. Not good, esepcially for someone with asthma and who is without a doubt one of the worst patients in the history of the world. Trust me, my husband is a nurse and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, and even he says I'm right up near the top of the list. Hey, we all have to be good at something.

As a way to make me feel better, and to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine, he brought these little cuties home with him! 6 little puffs of adorable in a box. It doesn't get much better than that! Just look at them!

Those four black ones are almost certainly girls (I'm told that at this stage you can only really be about 80% positive of gender) and the brown stripey ones could be either boys OR girls. I'm really hoping to get a rooster out of the deal, since you're supposed to have one rooster to ever ten or so hens. I've been reading my guts out on this for a couple of years now, and especially since he brought them home. He knows me and my love of research, so he actually brought me home some chicken magazines (that is, magazines about chickens, not magazines for them, although those would be pretty cute too...) and a book for me to read so I can be all prepared for taking care of them and doting on their every whim and need. I already have plans for a coop and chicken tractor for him to build me, so it's paying off! lol. If things go well, they should start to be ready to lay eggs in about five months and lay consistently for about five years. And that's if we can keep a chicken holocaust from happening in our backyard because of predators! Living in the woods, that's a real threat. We have owls, hawks, possums, coyotes, raccoons (Did YOU know that raccoons eat chickens? Because I did NOT. Suddenly that mental image I have of a raccoon cutely and cleverly washing its food off with its little hands in a crystal clear stream has changed to a raccoon rubbing its little hands together menacingly while plotting against my sweet little chickens. Less Rascal by Sterling North and more...evil, murdering rodent.), and even a couple of bald eagles (!!!). 

Aren't they cute? They're currently living in a brood box made of a Rubbermaid tub and a heat lamp that keeps the box at a balmy 95*-100*. Sounds good to me. No wonder they're so cheep-y and happy. We have an automatic waterer and feeder for them, which makes them ridiculously low maintenance. It's like taking care of our cats, without the diva factor.

They're so cute I could just eat them up! Which is good, because in five years, when they stop laying, they'll be ready for the soup pot (to clarify, I'm kissing the chick in this picture, not tasting it).

D'awwwww...SO tiny! I live in constant fear that I'm going to rip one of their little wings off or something. Hubs tells me they're pretty hardy, and not to worry but...for real? Tiny. I feel like the little girl in "Despicable Me"- "It's so FLUFFY!"

They're all nestled in on their pine shavings and cheeping away (seriously, cheeping ALL. THE. TIME.). I'm obsessed. Apparently, from what I've been reading, chicken keeping is a whole lifestyle and it's very easy to get hooked. My name is Gretchen, and I'm addicted to chickens.

The coop I want is on stilts (a necessity out here in the woods to keep things from digging under and into  the coop) and has...wait for it...WINDOW BOXES. WITH FLOWERS. I die. It's the cutest ever.

Oh, and in case you're not a theatre dork and missed the title reference, here's a little fun for you:

Pick a Little, Talk a Little