Call me farmer Afthead

The Afthead family got some chickens.  After the rough experiment fostering kittens last year we left the mammal group of the animal kingdom in favor of the bird group.  Meet Buffy, Rosie and Hope.

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“What?!?!  You got chickens?” asks Hope.  The girl with her face in the camera was named after Hope Solo.  We got the chickens during the Olympics and little Afthead decided the representative of the Ameraucana breed had to be named after an American athlete.  As a big soccer fan she decided Hope was a good chicken name.  (Given Ms. Solo’s antics during the Olympics I think having a chicken named after her is appropriate.)

This goofy girl is a Buff Orpington.  I really wanted to name her Buff Orpington the Third, because she’s such a formal sounding breed, but Mr. Afthead won these naming rights.  Buffy was the obvious choice for this brave vampire hunting fowl.  In the coming years I’m hoping that in between laying eggs for our family she’ll star in her own sitcom or maybe a movie about a vampire, werewolf, chicken love triangle.

Finally we have Rosie, the littlest of the chickens.  From the beginning she’s been the sweetest, the most friendly and, of course, was the one that almost got sick and died the first week.  Yeah, we appear to attract sickly animals.  After panicked googling, visiting feed stores, and syringe watering this little girl she’s now in great health.  All that hands-on attention in those early weeks has made her brave, well socialized and willing to pose for pictures.   “Who’s a pretty bird?  You are Rosie!”  Momma Afthead got to name this one, and I went for the obvious color-related name for this member of the Rhode Island Red breed.

So that’s our flock.  Really, I have no idea why we are trying this adventure.  We aren’t big local food people.  We aren’t even big egg eaters.  I think Mr. Afthead wanted a project, and converting little Afthead’s old playhouse to a chicken coop seemed like fun.  Of course little Afthead was in: what kid doesn’t want chickens?  It’s all I could do to keep her from grabbing bunnies, turkeys, miniature goats and peacocks from the feedstore the day we got the birds.  Man, that kid loves animals.

Me?  I’m still on the fence about about being a chicken farmer.  While I love them much more than I expected I don’t appreciate my morning, “Are the chicken’s dead?” routine.  I’ve never cared if skunk, fox, coyote, stray dogs, feral cats, or opossum lived in my backyard before, but now they are all chicken dismembering predators waiting to infiltrate every nook and cranny of our chicken habitat.  Ugh.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping we can get these girls through to the spring, so at least we start getting some eggs.  I’m also hoping if something gets them it isn’t a week when my husband is traveling.  I don’t want to handle a chicken murder scene alone.

Now off to go find some overalls, a nice straw hat and a toothpick to chew.  Come back soon, y’all.  I tell ya more chicken stories.  Ah yup.  “Bawk!”

18 thoughts on “Call me farmer Afthead

    1. Oh Melissa! We live in a small suburban/urban house too! You can watch our adventure and see if it seems doable. Denver allows for up to six “urban chickens” with a permit, so the first step is seeing if your community allows them. Also, we chicken sat for a weekend last year as a trial run. That helped seal the deal for us.

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  1. I love chickens! Your photos of the ‘girls’ were wonderful to see! My cousin raises chickens and turkeys of all kinds, and names them. We get eggs from them sometimes. Hopefully the predators won’t get them! 🙂

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  2. Nice new blog template, Mrs. Afthead! I have a chicken question. Do chickens of different “types” get along better or worse than chickens of all the same type. Just curious. I have a friend who has chickens that attack each other and they are all the same type. What animal behavior patterns have you noticed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I needed a change. Of course there are a couple of things I don’t like about the new template, but I’m trying to work through those issues. I was nervous about what you would think, oh master of the Internet!

      We did pick our chickens based on the docility of their breeds. We have on 5 docility and two 4 docility birds. (5 is “lap-chicken”). That said pecking order is a real thing and Rosie and Hope like playing top chicken. Are your friends birds the same age? Apparently that can lead to problems. So in our few weeks of chicken farming my suggestions fit your friend are limited.

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    1. Kids and chickens are a weirdly magical combination. My daughter held them and sang to them when they were little chicks. I love that your daughter-in-laws school keeps the critters. What do they do with the eggs?

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