Day of the Chicken

Apparently the month of May is International Respect for Chickens month and the 4th is International Respect for Chickens day.  It is also Star Wars day, ‘May the fourth be with you’, but we will leave that topic for another time.  Anyway …  happy Chook Day?!

Little T was promised pet chooks instead of chocolate eggs for Easter (toddlers should come with instructions that say ‘do not feed chocolate, especially after midnight’).  So, in preparation for the four new additions to our family, we started to build a chook pen.  I approximated it would only take a couple of weekends of not-too-strenuous-labour, so we set about sourcing the fence and the hen-house.  I decided on an old wardrobe from the scrap yard with the back taken off for their house (the idea being that Little T could just open up the doors on the outside, and take the eggs out without needing to stomp about in chook-poo inside the pen.  HA!  more on that later…)

ANYWAY.  Amped and enthusiastic I grabbed the shovel and rammed it into the ground to start digging the first post in.  It barely went in 0.5cm.  I know maybe sometimes I exaggerate, just a teensy bit, but I am seriously not kidding this time.  Basically our yard is clay soil, so over the long hot (HOT) summer this year, the earth was kilned by the sun and became harder than concrete.  So we used a jackhammer.  I am serious, we actually ‘dug’ each and every post and trench using a jackhammer.  It makes a dggdggdggdggdggdggdgg noise/motion that reverberates through your arms and body and continues well beyond using the thing.

After much huffing and puffing and dggdggdggdggdggdggdgg we FINALLY finished building the chook pen just in time for Easter.  It only took us about five weekends.  So on Easter Saturday we bundled Little T into the car, grabbed a couple of cardboard boxes and headed off to the chicken farm.  This next bit is not funny, so without going on a rant, and in a nutshell, I have never been so appalled in my life as when I saw the miserable conditions that these poor animals must live in.  None of our chooks had feathers, one was literally raw and bleeding, and not one of them could walk properly when we first rescued them.  Maybe an International Respect for Chickens day is not such a ridiculous idea?

So a month on, and the chooks have very much made themselves at home.  They boldly go {and explore our yard}, where no chook has gone before.  And Little T just LOVES chasing them and ‘talking’ to them, and stomping about inside the pen in his wellies.  There’s no keeping him out of the chook pen, he is King of the Chickens.  He goes and collects the ‘ugg’ when they occasionally lay one, and he feeds them the stale bread (right after he’s stuffed as much of it into his mouth as will fit).

The first 8 eggs they layed in the first week…

I’ll finish this {rather long} post with pictures of our motley bunch.  Meet ‘Tikka Masala’ (she rules the roost), ‘Drumsticks’ (she’s headstrong and does her own thing), ‘Schnitzel’ (she has a dodgy wing, but manages ok), and ‘Nuggets’ (she’s a couple short of a six-pack, definitely not our smartest chook… but loveable!)

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2 thoughts on “Day of the Chicken

  1. - I would say that it is a matter of seocnds but who is to say that one second is better then the rest. Yes Cartier nailed many amazing moments, but maybe he missed the really great ones that happen right after the kiss. I think the challenge to creativity is making the most of your seocnds.JoeyMarch 8, 2010 3:53 am

  2. Pingback: new beginnings | four chooks

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