For those unaware, back in early 2014, Poppa Pigg took Princess Pigg to Rural King to pick up some dog food. A phone call was placed for me to come join them. Upon my arrival, Poppa asked if I would allow Princess to get some baby chicks. Please note, at this point I’m pretty sure our cute little 2 year old had already picked out two fluffy yellow chicks.So, after learning of the minimum purchase requirement, we went home with 6 little fluff balls, and all the necessities to raise baby chicks.
In my dear husband’s defense, this was not a completely spur of the moment decision. He had been talking about getting chickens for quite some time. Our house is situated on 2 acres, with plenty of room away from the house for a coop. However, I had protested that I would end up being the one who took care of them, and I didn’t want anything else added to my plate.
Well, I was right. About a week after we brought the baby chicks home, Poppa left for a couple weeks of military training, and I defaulted to being the one to mainly care for them. But something unexpected happened – I enjoyed it. Maybe not so much in the baby chick stage, but once they became little chicken teenagers and moved outside, I seriously enjoyed feeding them and watching them forage in our yard. I liked them even more when I started getting eggs! Fast forward to the summer of 2015, and I had upgraded coops, had 12 chickens, and was getting about 5 dozen eggs a week.
Then came the Chicken Massacre of 2015. I’m one month post C-section, and Poppa is gone again to military training. At sunset, I’m able to distract Princess long enough to plop newborn Wee One in her swing, and run outside to close our the chickens in their coop. But they weren’t ready to go to bed yet, and I didn’t have time to chase them. I cussed them and ran back inside to put the girls to bed. Once I got Princess to bed (because let’s be honest, Wee One wasn’t sleeping through the night at that point, or even going to bed on a regular schedule!), I again run outside to put away the chickens. It’s dark by this point, so I use the flashlight on my phone to shine in on them before closing the door. Only this time they weren’t all snuggled together, fighting over the top roost. There had been a blood bath. It seriously looked like the scene from Boondock Saints, and I totally wanted to fall to my knees like William Dafoe scream into the air, “There was a fire fight!!!”
The next day I dropped the girls off at my grandma’s house, and cleaned up the remains of my feathered friends. For the next week or so, my grandpa came and set live traps out for the culprits and managed to catch a slew of raccoons and possums.
We’ve been chickenless ever since. Every grocery trip my 3 year old Princess Pigg now sadly sighs as I put the eggs into the cart, saying aloud the unanswered question I’m thinking – When are we going to get more chickens?
At the time, I told myself that I would get more chickens in the springtime, convinced this would be the easiest route with a newborn and winter approaching. But now spring is near, and I just disassembled the chicken coop for our impending move. Which leads me to a dilemma I hadn’t considered before.
After the move, should we live on base, around other like minded similarly situated families with recreation resources available, or should we live off base in a country setting as we’re used to and be able to have chickens?
I’ve been so focused on making sure we get on-base housing, I hadn’t considered the idea that we may want to live off base. While looking online at housing options, we found this cute little farm house where I could potentially rebuild my chicken empire. However, even though we live in a country setting now where we have no interaction with neighbors, I wonder if I would feel too isolated in an area where I don’t know anyone. Or will it be nice to stay in a setting we are more familiar with and then be able to seek out play dates and such on our own terms?
I know…..I’m totally rambling. So for now, we’ll keep considering our options, and I shall remain the Chickenless Chicken Lady.