Moe Boksa

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Chicken Emporium

              The call of the chicken began at least two years ago, when Finn started asking to have some feathered friends. I'm not sure where his fascination came from, but he was determined. The most amusing part of it was that he wanted to dye his chickens pink, his favourite colour at the time. He asked me several times, to which I always said no. We had no space set up for winged beasts and without a conventional power system, I wasn't sure how to keep heat in a coop during the winter months.

              This year, as Finn's birthday approached, the idea of chickens resurfaced. Ian had just arrived and also had great enthusiam for the idea. We decided that it would be very fun and worthwhile to get chickens, if only for the summer months. We spent a few days restructuring the puppy whelping pen, making it into a fine chicken home. I researced a source and luckily found some available prime layers, at a nearby neighbour's house.

              A couple of days before Finn's birthday, we went to capture four hens from our neighbour's brood. This seemed like it should be an easy task as there were about fifty from which to choose. A bowlful of grain in a strategic spot and it was time to grab hold. Chicken whisperer I am not. I was still lunging for a bird, any bird, when I received the news that four had already been safely tucked into the dog crate we were using for transport. We brought them home and released them into their coop.

              The next day we excitedly checked for eggs, and to my surprise we had some! I had thought with the stress of the move, the ladies would be off production for a few days. Finn arrived home on Friday, trying to guess his present during the whole drive. He was so excited to see his new charges when he got out of the car. He and Maible immediately checked for eggs, and did so for about every ten minutes, for the next several days.

              These chickens have been an unexpectedly entertaining addition to the "farm". We find ourselves spending a great deal of time hypnotizing, catching, talking with,and being followed about by, chickens. Zoli, the blue heeler, has almost licked her lips raw in the anticipation of being mistakenly let loose when the chickens are wandering out in the grass.

              The garden has taken a bit of a beating, as the tender new lettuce seems to be a favourite of our ravenous fowl. As we peck away at our computer keyboards, the chickens peck at the floorboards under the house. Today we began wondering if they were trying to relay a message to us in morse code. We regularly have to herd one or two out of the house, as they are keen to visit when the door is open. We have a special fondness for the chicken we have dubbed with a few names; Stupid Chicken, Independent Chicken, Crouchy Chicken. She is the only one which allows herself to be caught. She is always off on her own business, while the other three stick close together.

              The egg production has been fabulous. We have now collected 87 eggs. Some of those were small, quail sized, yokeless treats; the bulk of them have been very large, tasty, yellow yoked beauties.

              All in all, I would say the chickens have had an unsurpassable entertainment value. That, in combination with the thrill of an egg hunt every day, the joy of cracking those warm brown beauties into the pre-heated fry pan, has us hooked. We knew we had gone over the edge when we were at the Southeast Alaska State Fair a couple of weeks ago. We walked into the barn and shivered with excitement as we compared all the beautiful show chickens on display!

Happy 11th Birthday Finn! May your chickens always lay golden eggs!!!

This page is about CHICKEN

to read about PORK, click here

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