Mum & daughter feed chickens

The chicken story

If you has asked my family 10 years ago which one of us seven kids was most likely to own a farm, guaranteed I would have been dead last on that list.  

Chickens. They sound great right? There are so many beautiful photos of idealistic looking farmscapes with a set of chickens walking in the background, likely doing something cute (cue a chicken in a bathtub, chickens walking on fences, you get the idea). 

Chickens are great, but let me tell you they are more than I bargained for.  My family’s journey with chickens begins in December 2021.  Picture this: we had just bought our home and were in the idealistic stage of “sure it needs an entire remodel and we have four children and two full time working parents but this is going to be perfect!” (newsflash, revisit me in February crying on the cement floor of my entryway while I rethought my life choices… don’t worry it got better!). 

Back to December 2021. We own a farm yay! Our kids will love this and want to do farm things! So obviously when my wonderful step mother asks if she can get each of my kids a chicken for Christmas I was overjoyed! How hard can it be? I immediately google “chicken coop” and order a cute looking one online that same day. Key word there is “cute”, I did not read the fine print. Mistake one.

Ok so chicken coop arrives yay! I convince my husband to put it together. We realize while assembling it is made of weird compressed particle board but this is Southern California, how much weather protection do we really need anyway? Also when we are 90% done it’s dinnertime and we decide we can put all the latch hardware on later. You guessed it, this chicken coop still has no hardware, I don’t even know where it is at this point. I probably threw it out in a fit of “we have too much junk!” cleaning binges. But needless to say we have what seems like a perfectly decent chicken coop.

Christmas day, the chickens arrive! Now these chickens were DELIVERED to my house on top of a mountain on Christmas day. I have no idea how my stepmother pulled this off but somehow these four designer chickens show up at dusk and my kids are in heaven. And I say designer because these were those breed of chickens where they are sought after, the lady delivering even said she had just been to Beverly Hills earlier in the day dropping off another set! I feel fancy. Mistake two.

My kids meet the chickens and they are in love. Each kid has a different breed of chicken:

  • Betsy, the beautiful Black Australorp for my youngest Anika.
  • Randy, the feisty White Leghorn for our youngest son Gavin.
  • Ketchup, the classic Rhode Island Red for our 11 year old Tashi.
  • And finally Merl, the gray Easter Egger for our 13 year old Max.

We put the chickens in the coop, take some pics and everyone is elated. Flash forward to the next day.  My kids go check on the chickens and all of a sudden I hear blood curling screams of doom. I rush outside to find white feathers everywhere and our three dogs sprinting away, one with Randy (the White Leghorn) in his mouth. I suddenly morph into some kind of super mom hulk and sprint to these dogs, pouncing on our 8 year old Choco and ripping her jaws open to let Randy sprint away hopefully minorly harmed. My kids are traumatized, the dogs are confused, and to top it off now Randy is missing. We commence an hour-long search for Randy only to find her shoved in the middle of some rocks hiding at which point I again have to go full farm lady and reach my hands into this rock pile and gently rip this chicken into freedom. She survives.

Until escape 5. Somehow Randy cannot get it into her head that if she leaves this boxed area she will die. RIP Randy I tried. 

Welcome to month one of the lease likely woman to own a farm doing farm things. Check back soon to read more! Will my other chickens survive?! Will I end up crazy and living in the coop myself? Only time will tell.

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