The story of my birdies begins and ends just a little differently than it does for most.
It started around mid-March 2010, and I was an elementary schooler. My favorite store in the world (and so it remains) was Murdochs. So we frequented the place, we being my mother and I. It being March, it was chick season. And of course, the chicks were cute, and I was young, and so I was smitten. As would be any normal child.
On the car ride home, I asked for chickens for the first (and what would NOT be the last) time in my life. At first, due to knowing nothing about chickens, I desired one. My mom asked if it would be lonely. I agreed it would be, and so I began to ask for two... she said yes!
With a catch... the chooks would have to find a new home by May 25th. Reluctantly, I said sure. The experience of raising them was enough... for the time being. After finding a new home, I'd relaxed somewhat, until my mentor asked about laws in my neighborhood. I lived next to a country club! Chickens? Well I found out they were illegal. Since they would be only be around 2 months... who cares?
Well on March 29th, I went to Murdoch's again, and got my chicks. The only pullets they had were some "Araucanas". Course, they weren't Araucanas (actually Easter Eggers), but oh well. When the woman asked how many, in her hand a little box to put them in for the car ride home, I glanced to my mom. Just when I was about to say two, my mother said - "Three." Besides feeling shocked, I felt delighted. Very delighted.
My brother wanted there to be a very normal chick. He wanted it to be yellow. I had said no, since I wanted two very unique chicks. But in the bin, there seemed to be three colors. Yellow, chipmunk, and dark brown. I asked for one of each, and so I got one of each. My favorite from the moment I saw them was the chipmunk one, and I wanted to name it Lilac. Thing is... I was under the impression it was spelled Lilack Laugh all you want. It wasn't until around their first birthday that I got around to spelling it without the K. Smart Mac. Anyway, I decided on August for the little yellow one halfway through the drive home (if I'm going to tell the absolute truth here, I'll admit that I named her that because my best friend requested that I not name one that ), and it was the next day when the small clover atop the Murdoch's box caused me to call the last little chook Clover.
They lived in a recycling bin, with a lizard heat lamp on top and a toy cow feeder for food. At least they had proper water and shavings. But, what do you know, they lived!
Around the time they started deciding that staying on the ground was overrated, my dog's crate (which she loathed, so therefore was never used) moved into the living room and became their new home. Perhaps if I had done research I might have known to place it in the basement so I didn't have to sweep up pine shavings every two hours... silly birds. Eventually my mother exiled them to the garage, and as I so happily realized, stopped mentioning that they would be moving out.
So, on May 25th, when our big month long Europe trip was planned, instead of taking them out to a horse boarding stable with a large chicken coop, as was the plan, we kinda just didn't do anything with them... I begged my dad, who was making a rare visit to the country to watch our house while we were away to care for them.
And when I came back, my charming little pullets were striking hens. August was a creamy white at this point, tall and quirky, and rather indifferent to human contact (alright, she wasn't a massive fan.) Clover, who had taken on the role of head hen, was striking copper with black lacing - she was a sweetheart, happy with whatever contact was initiate. Then there was little Lilac. Timid little Lilac, who if she liked you (she liked me!) would sit calmly on your lap forever. She was known a pretty tawny with black lacing and little white specks in random places. Pretty little Lilac.
At this point, I'll tell you what happened to their names at this point.
Rather than remember 3 simple, short names, my father decided upon calling them whatever he liked. And he did...
When I got back... "Intrepid is a good leader, very nice. And I like Shy, Cheater a bit too."
I asked him what he meant and he pointed to Clover. "Intrepid." Then August. "Cheater, or Blondie, depending on her attitude that day." Lastly little Lilac. "Shy." They kinda fit, but I was still not happy with their new names. Eventually I decided to just give them full names.
Intrepid Clover I
Cheater August Blondie II
Shy Lilac III
The number is where they were in flock rank.
The summer went by quick, and without fail my hens were a part of it. They became better than my dog was far as pets were concerned.
Until we got a letter. It, in short, read that our HOA had discovered we had poultry in our backyard. It stated how shocked they were that something so horrible could happen in a neighborhood so posh. (This makes my blood boil to this very day.)
Away from our home they went. To a girl who posted a Craigslist ad looking for laying hens. They were 21 weeks old, and for us, the 3 little girls had delivered but 6, tiny, olive green eggs. They were delicious.
And they sit in my basement, with A, C, or L written on them depending on who laid them. Lilac was first to lay, sweet baby
They didn't leave without making me a crazy chicken lady! Our HOA finally did something helpful and made a suggestion. They said that the people just down the road (one block, maybe) who were allowed any farm animals they so desire (hence living on a farm) had once tried chickens, wanting them badly, and after one died due to predators free ranging, they sold the whole flock, not wanting more to die. They suggested contacting them about putting our own chickens somewhere on their property, and giving them a few dozen eggs a week in return, of course offering that if they ever wanted chickens of their own, provided mine stayed on the property, I would happily raise and care for them.
Needless to say, Lilac, Clover, & August won't stay the only birds I've ever had for long.