Baby no likey the chicken.
I had a- I don’t know- um…. interesting conversation with my neighbor Maria yesterday. She’s a lovely woman who is very vibrant and I always enjoy speaking with her. I use the term “speaking” loosely, as she speaks only Spanish and I probably have the vocabulary of a two year old Hispanic toddler. This is how the conversation went:
Maria: Oh, I see you have some chickens.
Maria: How many?
Maria: Any roosters?
Maria: You don’t need a rooster anyway. Let the hens sit on the eggs so you can have babies. Don’t take the eggs out of the coop and eat them. The hens need to sit on them.
Me: No, no babies. Need rooster daddy for to make the babies.
Maria: No you don’t. You just have to let the hens sit on the eggs for a long time. The warmth from their bodies will make the babies come.
Me: No. The Rooster is the “papa”. You need the “papa” for to make the babies. “Mama” is of the lady chicken and “Papa” is of the rooster chicken.
Maria: I think you are wrong. My mother has chickens, tons of them actually, and they have babies.
Me: Is her chicken house one of the rooster?
Maria: Yes, but only because he is beautiful. He doesn’t make the babies.
Me: Oh, ok. It’s possible.
It’s times like these I wish my tenth grade Spanish teacher Mr. Merril had covered terms such as, “immaculate conception”, “fertilization”, and “chicken sex.” I so would have aced that class.
I did some housekeeping on ye olde blog this weekend and I thought I would share some of the updates with you:
- The chickens have their own blog. Yes, I know. It wasn’t my idea. They basically bitched and moaned and wore me down until I finally caved in and gave them a cyber space of their own. It’s called Ruling the Roost.
- I have a professional blog now too. I’m trying to be all legit and stuff.
- Finally, here is a link to an article I wrote about trying to track down some Girl Scout cookies. Don’t worry. I was finally able to secure some and they’ve been devoured. I’m just trying to do my job as a supporter of the youth, you know?
If you manage to find your way over to my two new blogs, could you let me know if anything looks wonky? I’ve been staring at my screen for the last three hours straight and I’m not sure I can read English anymore. Thanks guys!
How was your weekend? Have any of your own news to share with me?
It’s official. We own chickens. Four of them. Meet the girls:
Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself, “We are going to buy some chickens today.” And so we did.
There is a feed store about 40 minutes away that sells young hens that are already laying eggs. Most of the other stores I contacted only sell baby chicks, and well, considering I already have two baby chicks (and a husband) to take care of, the thought of mothering four baby chicks sort of put me over the edge. It also takes chicks about seven months to start laying eggs, and considering the fact that I don’t even like waiting for the laundry to dry, I decided to go for instant gratification.
It was a totally surreal experience- buying the chickens. We just drove to the feed store, asked for four hens, the clerk put them in a box, and then we drove away. The entire transaction lasted about ten minutes. I couldn’t help but think it was about as anti-climactic as losing your virginity. I kept trying to ask the clerk questions and engage him in conversation, but he was totally over me. I even felt compelled to give him my email address in case he wanted to keep in touch or see how the chickens were doing down the road. I felt bonded to this poor guy and he couldn’t wait to get me out of his store so he could take a smoke break.
I’m sure you are all wondering about the names. Emma wanted to name one of the hens “Kitty”. Ok- no problem. I wanted to name one “Lulu”, after a character in one of Emma’s favorite books Goodnight Lulu. Whitney was set on “Dagny”, one of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged. He actually wanted to give that name to the baby before she was born (he got a big hell-to-the-no from me on that one), so I conceded and let him give the name to one of the chickens. All things considered, that was very generous of me. Don’t you think?
We couldn’t really settle on a fourth name. Emma wanted to name the fourth chicken “Emma”, but since there is a good chance we might eat these chickens one day, I just couldn’t get on board with that. Whitney didn’t really care, so I named the fourth one “Sunny” after my great-aunt. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What is with “Gnocchi” then?” Oh, I am too my friends. You see, Emma is stuck on watching this Curious George cartoon and one of the cats in the show is named “Gnocchi.” Despite explaining to her over and over that the fourth chicken is named “Sunny”, she insists on calling it “Gnocchi”. It seems that the fourth hen is destined to be named after Italian dumplings, so “Gnocchi” it is.
Once we decided on the names, it took a few days for us to assign them to the hens. I have to admit- they are hard to tell apart. Gnocchi has more white feathers than the others, Lulu has a lighter neck, Kitty has a redder neck, and Dagne is lighter all around. I’m glad I’ll have this post and the photo collage as a reference for later. It’s all a bit much to keep track of.
I could go on and on about what life is like at The Little Hen House right now, but I know you guys are all busy. If you want to keep tabs on the hens I’ve dedicated a page on the blog to them. You can find it here- The Literal Hen House. I’ll periodically update it with ramblings about poop, feral cats, broken eggs, and my various misadventures in urban farming. Don’t worry- I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. It’s not for everyone.
Well, enough about my weekend. What did you all do?
I’ve been working on my New Year’s resolutions: paying better attention to my Google Reader (only 217 posts until it’s clear!), going to be an hour earlier (I might have to hold off on that one until I get the Google Reader issue sorted out), and getting chickens (the planning has begun).
Step one: Build a little hen house- literally. I’m looking for something cheap, easy, and functional. I can tell you one thing: it isn’t going to look like any of these, but a girl can dream….
Photo courtesy of Woot! Finger Tips.
Photo courtesy of Modern Design Interior
Photo courtesy of Backyard Chickens
Photo courtesy of Rustic Rooster Interiors
Photo courtesy of A Bright Space
Photo courtesy of Southern Green Living
Happy New Year everyone! How are you all feeling today? Hungover? Tired? Or totally well rested because you can’t get a sitter on New Year’s Eve and the thought of staying out until all hours of the night and then getting up at 6am with a champagne hangover to take care of two kids makes you feel suicidal so you went to a kid’s party where your husband got totally hammered and ended up sleeping on the couch and then to make up for it he watched the kids all morning so you could sleep in?
Did you all make New Year’s resolutions? My husband and I did something a little differently this year. Usually, we each make three resolutions for ourselves and hope one will stick. This year, we each made three for each other.
I know what you are all thinking, “Sounds risky.” Oh, it is. We had a few ground rules though: 1. No cheap shots, 2. Something totally do-able, and 3. It had to be fun and lighthearted. I want to share the results with you:
My Resolutions for My Husband in 2011
- Complain less about the computer.
- Complain less (do you notice a trend here?) about the route I take to get to the freeway.
- Make a family dinner twice a month.
My Husband’s Resolutions for Me in 2011
- More “date nights” (we all know what that means).
He totally left me hanging on the other two. I’m going to give him a chance to take a nap, a shower, and eat a burrito so he can get his head together enough to finish the rest.
I also cheated a little and decided to give myself three personal goals for 2011. Here they are:
- Pay better attention to my Google Reader.
- Go to bed one hour earlier.
- Get some chickens.
The last one is going to be quite a challenge. I’ve been thinking about it for so long that it’s about time I actually moved forward with the idea. Plus, it’s not just about having chickens. It’s about doing something that seems like a lot of hard work and that I know nothing about, and stretching myself to learn and grow. If all else fails, I’m sure this little experiment is bound to make for good blog material.
Peace out 2010- don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
What are some of the resolutions you made this year?