Chickens you say. Chickens?


A long story regarding these chickens, so grab a fresh cup of coffee and relax for a few.
When lovely wife first got word that oldest grandson was going to bring her a couple chickens to raise this past summer, I was less than enthusiastic about the project. Having never raised chickens I foresaw nothing that looked like fun to me. Sounded like a lot of work for naught. Where would we put them? How would we take care of them in the winter? How much care do they actually need? What if we want to go away for a week or so? These were just a few of the questions that concerned me.
Oldest grandson lives in a rural area just a bit north west of Cadillac, Mi. He raises game birds for sale to hunting preserves. He also raises livestock for his family’s personal consumption, pigs and chickens. He assured us that he would take care of my concerns, he would bring down a coop/pen to keep chickens in and he would come and get them in the fall prior to the winter sitting in. I was slowly and somewhat begrudgingly accepting the idea of having chickens in our backyard. Not enthusiastic at all, but it would be a brief interruption in my pleasant lifestyle. And I felt I could handle it for a short period. Just stay as far out of it as possible
You can imagine the sigh of relief that came from my silent inner soul when oldest grandson called to sadly tell lovely wife the bad news.
Seems the chicks came not quite as ordered, he had ordered 10 chickens to be made up of 9 hens and 1 rooster. Once the chicks began to mature he found them to be evenly split 5 hens and 5 roosters. This left him with just enough hens for his plans and 4 roosters for the pot. Alas, no hens for grandma; 🙂 from grandpa.
Lovely wife, not to be deterred, worked out a plan where she could get a small coop and a couple of hens from another grandson who resides in Freeland area and raises chickens just for the joy? Of it.
Arrgh! Thinks grandpa. Now we are going to have chickens with no adult support and no word of where they will go in winter and so on and so on. Arrgh again.
Lovely wife calls in the reserves, son, son-in-laws and grandsons. We have a small coop and a makeshift pen with two chickens. Grandpa not comfortable with situation. He is thinking something along the lines of Beverly Hillbilly’s or Ma and Pa Kettle is taking over his otherwise comfortable life.
Oldest grandson, the one that started this mess to begin with, somehow hears of grandpa’s stress. He comes to the rescue with a pen of adequate size for two grown birds. To make matters even better the pen is called a tractor, it has wheels on it and can be moved about the yard to avoid destroying a section of yard. We are both happy and pleased with this turn of events.
Lovely wife and I paint this pen and chickens seem to love their new home.
Chickens are now providing us with two eggs daily. They are allowed to “free range” around the fenced yard every day and from what I know about chickens appear to be happy.
It is fun to watch these birds wander around the yard looking for bugs and or whatever they are doing. They enjoy sitting in a dry spot and taking a dust bath every day. Occasionally they will squawk loudly flap their wings and shoot 10 to 15 feet across the yard in pursuit of a bug? They usually stay close to each other and walk about with their heads bobbing in rhythm.
They came to our house pre-named by the grandson. Chip and Dale. I know doesn’t sound right for hens but grandson named them when they hatched and they don’t really give a damn what we call them. I usually call them the girls.
Some have used the phrase God’s creatures when speaking of animals of this type. I am not sure but, I do know they are creatures that are rather dumb, but mean no harm. They just go about their daily lives doing what they do. They do need some help and being a member of a superior species I think it is imperative that they receive any help I can give them. This includes making sure they are fed and watered and cleaning their pen at least once a week.
In conclusion, I do get a kick out of having them here. I would not butcher them for chicken dinner but would feel no discomfort if and when they do go to the colonels.
So there you have it.


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