Prior to our arrival here in the great mitten state, my in-laws were thinking it might be fun to garden with the kids. Plant a little seed, watch it sprout and bud and grow and stuff. So, they bought some chickens.
My mother-in-law was buying some organic soil, you know, to garden with, and then she met a lady at a roadside farm stand who peeked inside her soul and saw this burning desire in her to raise some live poultry. So, my in-laws ordered a couple of chicks. Oooh, those downy little yellow fluffpeeps! How the grandkids would love them so!
The chicks arrived. My in-laws picked them up and were given the chicks' birthdates and names. But apparently no instructions for care were handed off at the adoption because otherwise they would have known that chicks are not like baby humans in that they do not remain tiny, immobile infants for months. Within a few days, they are romping around, pecking and pooping and getting bigger by the hour.
When we arrived, the chicks were not chicks anymore. They were practically ready for the rotisserie. But they were living in what I would call a large salad spinner, covered with another mesh basket.
Now, I am not what you would call a superhumanitarian. I enjoy petting a puppy from time to time but I am not the gal who reads kitten cues. I'm not even really all that interested in animals. The only reason I have ever watched Animal Planet was because I was too lazy to find the remote control. Let it be known, however, that the squalor in which these chickens were living was henpecking me all through the night and when I awoke with Little Man the next morning, we went out to the garage and went all Habitat for Humanity on a UPS box, cutting windows (even a portico!) into a new abode for our chicklets. Baby Girl got up later and offered some exterior flair to the box. A little straw and some chicken feed and these chickens were movin' on up to the East Side.
Since their relocation, the chickens seem really happy. Meaning they've only escaped once. Twice. Their feathers are looking soft and their beaks are looking hard and they seem really healthy. One of them said her fibromyalgia had totally disappeared. The other one has stopped abusing painkillers. They have even submitted an audition tape for Real ChickWives of SouthEast Michigan. I totally hope they get picked.
And pop my chin and call me a Pez dispenser if they aren't hilarious. I could watch them all day! There is clearly a leader and a follower in this coop. (read: I think one is a little stupider than the other). They enjoy hanging out on the deck in the early evening hour, flapping their wings and being chased by my punks.
My mother-in-law said she wasn't sure what she would do with the chickens once the kids are gone. Their cardboard mansion won't contain them forever. Turns out chickens are hard to housebreak and we're pretty sure you need a permit or deaf neighbors to keep them outside in the 'burbs. So she said she may bring them back to the store.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that return.
Hi, we'd like to return these chickens. Why? Did they not grow? No, they did. That's the problem.
My friend Ren said maybe we could spawn a whole industry from this dilemma. Call them: Bonsai Chickens. Bahhah!
Stay tuned for "As the Poultry Turns"....
*** Oh hai!
Pyong-adi Jip: Chicken House
Leader and the Follower