Saturday, August 09, 2008

Meet the Girls

We have 5 new additions to our family. We've adopted a sib group of girl....hens. I can't remember ever not wanting chickens and my own passion was re-fueled after Ben came home from his friends' farm and had fallen in love with their feathered critters. He passed the passion on to his sisters and thus began a years-long prayer and beg campaign to get their dad on board. Since The Dad wasn't budging it just never happened.

A couple of weeks ago we were visiting another Orthodox church we've visited before. Tad was talking with his friend Peter when a Russian woman approached me and announced, "You have a large family. You need chickens. I have chickens I am going to give you. You will have 4, maybe I give you 5 of them." She then proceeded to go on about how to care for them, their age (3 weeks), their temperament and the need for large families to be somewhat self-sustaining. I told her we'd been hoping and praying for chickens for years and Tad simply looked at JT and said "Well, JT I guess we'll be building a chicken tractor as our next project."

Peter turned to Tad in amazement and asked, "Does this happen to you often?" We thought a moment and realized that, yes, it really isn't all that uncommon for perfect strangers to approach us with some sort of odd proposition (someday I'll get around to posting all of our adoption stories...). Peter went on, "I mean, no one ever walked up to me and asked me if I wanted some chickens. But here you've been praying for chickens and someone gives you chickens. How cool is that?!"

We put off taking the chickens home that day and exchanged phone numbers instead. Last Friday I got a call that the couple is moving and the chickens had to go so I packed all the kids in the van and headed to their home south of DC.

We got there and got led out back to the chicken coop where a lot of nearly full grown chickens were wandering. I wondered where the little 4 week old chicks were when we were told this was it. I guess our benefactor's Russian lost a few months in translation...We gathered up 5 chickens and forced them into two cardboard boxes. Then we were invited in for kvass and oatmeal cookies. I really liked the kvass but the kids were not so crazy about it. After a prayer for the health and safety of our chickens we piled into the van, surrounded Nathan with boxes of poultry and then proceeded to sit in dead traffic for the next hour.We got them home but were without any place to keep them. I had the idea of keeping them in the garage for the night but after watching them roost on the lawn mowers and poop all over the place I decided to run out to Home Depot and board up the kids' playhouse with chicken wire so they had a more appropriate place to stay. Ben, JT and I stood in the dark with a flashlight and a staple gun stapling chicken wire to the windows of the playhouse and that night they spent their first night in their new home.

We have since built them a bit of a run, gotten them some cedar shavings to poop on and put them on a regular feeding schedule. They have yet to lay any eggs but we expect those to come along any day now.'s our girls (Ben assures me these names are correct. I have no idea how they tell some of them apart):

Girly (being observed through the window by our Girly)
and UnNamedCan anyone tell me a breed for these little sweeties? And if you see anything we're doing wrong - feel free to comment! We are very new at this chicken thing.

UnNamed will be named by one of our lucky readers - look for the next post for details!


Jennifer Merkel said...

I think they are Plymouth Rock Hens.
We had some that looked just like them when I was a kid.
Chickens are a fun project, messy, but fun!
Hope you get a few eggs out of the deal! I think she looks like a Tiffany. As in "Breakfast At".

noelle said...

How exciting! We have been thinking about getting chickens here too.

Hope you enjoy your new project!