There is nothing like waking up in the morning to your house smelling like a chicken farm, and having 104 chicks running around the house. Okay, just kidding about the running around part But totally serious about the smelling part. And the 104-chick part. And the in-the-house part.
It all started one day last week…
Ben had returned home after a day at work, and after a few minutes, came to me and said there is something he needed to tell me. I could tell by his expression it wasn’t anything too ghastly, but we usually keep each other up to date on things, so naturally my curiosity was aroused.
“Uhh, well, *sheepish grin* I just ordered us a hundred chickens.”
My jaw couldn’t have sunk any lower to the ground, and I staggered against the kitchen counter. In the deep recesses of my memory, I do recall us having mentioned – just mentioned – that one day it might be nice to have a few laying hens. Maybe 4-5. “A hundred what?” I stammered weakly, hoping desperately this was all a joke. He likes to tell me things that shock me out of my mind, only to tell me he was just kidding. He seems to enjoy freaking me out like that. And for a purchase of something this big, we normally consult each other first. He’s not the spur-of-the-moment buyer. At least, not normally.
“Uhhh, yeah. A hundred chickens.” He was stuttering around a bit, but his grin was getting wider. “Now that you mention it, a hundred does sound like a lot.” He started chuckling.
I was completely speechless, staring wide-eyed at my grinning husband, but my mind was going crazy. What in the world are we ever going to do with a hundred chickens?! We don’t even have a place to keep any chickens! And doing simply math, 100 chickens, laying approximately 100 eggs a day, give or take, would give us about 700 eggs a week. How many eggs does this man think we eat???
“Oh, they’re probably not all hens.” he added.
Oh, perfect. That’s even better. I can just see it now. 25 roosters perched on the rooftop, crowing for all the neighborhood to hear at 4am every morning. Plus the other 75 hens flapping all around the yard, in the trees, on the vehicles, on the house roof, on the back porch. Why, we probably couldn’t even walk outside the door without stepping into doo-doo everywhere, with that many fowl around.
I finally managed to ask what in the world he was thinking, getting that many chickens. He kept grinning, seemingly enjoying this moment of complete shock for his wife, and mentioned that perhaps he should have told me first. I did tell him that would have been nice, because there was no way I would have let him get that many if he asked, but it was probably good he just went ahead and did it if he wanted them that badly.
As I began to try to wrap my mind around the idea of us living in the very midst of a chicken farm, he told me that he actually wanted to raise them for a few months, then sell them in the spring as more mature roosters/hens, and that we would probably end up keeping only a dozen or so. Kind of like an investment, he said.
Gracious. That’s still a bit overdone in my opinion. A hundred chickens!
They arrived yesterday. Little newly-hatched chicks. All 104 of them. They are rather cute, I have to admit. Zoe’ is tickled out of her mind, and would hardly eat a bite of supper last night out of excitement. I’m afraid she’ll bring about the death of half of them.
And since it was so cold last night, below freezing, we [yes, yes, me too] felt sorry for them outside and allowed them to
sleep peep inside all night. Good thing we had a raging fan making all sorts of noise in our bedrooms, otherwise I don’t know how we would have slept a wink. And waking up to a house smelling like chickens isn’t exactly the most exciting way for a pregnant woman to start her day.
But my husband is just darling with them. He feeds them diligently, waters them, makes sure everything is okay. This mornine he found one that didn’t make it, and another one that somehow got crushed in the mix. For the surviving one, he made a rice pack and heated it up, then stuck that and the chick in a beanie hat, trying to revive it. And just now I got a text from him, saying, “If the chick gets up, could you give it water in a jar lid? Thanks.” I laughed out loud, Sure, Babe, anything you want… thinking the whole chicken epidsode is so funny and so ridiculous at the same time. Thankfully it will just be a few months that we’ll have this many chickens around here…
The chick itself, affectionately named “Charlie” by my loving husband. He thought we needed to name him after his near-death experience. I just hope he’s not planning on continuing with the naming venture. It’s hard enough for me to name a baby, let alone 103 chickens. [Notice the Georgia Bulldogs hat and all. I'm sure all you Georgia fans would say that's the reason for the rapid recovery].
But I’m racking my brain, trying to remember if there’s anything else he’s mentioned in the past that I should be prepared for. You know, in case he gets another brain-storm. And what do you know, but I honestly remember he said it would be nice to have a few goats around here, just to eat out the scruffy parts of the woods around the house…