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Mother Hens Beginnings

  1. Pennyhibbitts
    OUR LITTLE CHICKEN FARM

    BY : MOTHER HEN-PENNY
    NO MORE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME!
    TRUE STORIES!!

    TWO YEARS AND THREE MONTHS AGO..I WAS SITTING AROUND WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE..MY CHILDREN HAD GROWN UP AND MOVED AWAY AND LIVING LIVES OF THEIR OWN. YES, I SEE THEM OFTEN AND MY GRANDCHILDREN . MY HUSBAND ROOSTER JOHN AND I ARE BOTH DISABLED AND SPEND MOST OF OUR DAYS INDOORS IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION. NOW, ALL THAT HAS CHANGED THANKS TOO MY LITTLE NO-ARMS CHILDREN!

    YET I WAS SUFFERING FROM THE ULTIMATE MIDDLE AGED CRISIS...THE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME!

    THIS WAS MY ULTIMATE FEAR IN LIFE..NOONE TO NEED ME. I FEARED MY LIFE HAD OUTGROWN ITS USEFULNESS AND FELT VERY LONELY AND UNFULFILLED. MY GRAND CHILDREN LIVE FAR AWAY SO I DON'T GET TOO SEE THEM AS MUCH AS I WOULD LIKE. DEPRESSION AND LONLINESS AND A CONSTANT EMPTINESS SURROUNDED MY DAYS.

    FINALLY, IN DESPERATION I PRAYED TO JESUS FOR RELIEF. MY HUSBAND JOHN AND I BOUGHT A HOUSE. THIS KEPT ME BUSY FOR AWHILE. THEN IT STARTED HAPPENINING AGAIN....THE LONLINESS WAS CREEPING UP ON ME. I DECIDED TO GROW A GARDEN. MY HUSBAND IS A VERY PATIENT MAN. HE IS ALWAYS GAME FOR WHATEVER NEW PROJECT I COME UP WITH EVEN IF THEY FAIL..SO OFF TO THE FEED STORE WE WENT TO BUY GARDEN SUPPLIES
    DURING OUR VISIT TO THE FEED STORE I NOTICED THAT THEY HAD BABY CHICKS, BABY TURKEYS AND BABY DUCKS AS WELL AS BABY GUINEAS....THEY TOTALLY FACINATED ME!

    DESPITE JOHNS PROTESTS I TALKED HIM INTO GETTING ONE BABY RHODE ISLAND RED CHICK. WE BROUGHT HER HOME WITH A SMALL BROWN LUNCH SACK OF CHICK FEED AND A SMALL CAGE. WE NAMED HER ESTER SUE. IT WAS LATE IN THE YEAR AND GETTING COLD SO WE KEPT HER IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH US AND ON WARM DAYS I WOULD BRING HER OUTSIDE IN THE SUN FOR AWHILE..AT NIGHT SHE SLEPT IN OUR BEDROOM!

    IT OCCURRED TO US THAT IN A DAY OR TWO THAT SHE WAS LONELY AND NEEDED A FRIEND AND SOMEONE TO HELP KEEP HER WARM AS NIGHTS AS IT GETS COLD, AT NIGHT-IN TEXAS. MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE FEED STORE, WE PURCHASED ANOTHER CHICK AND NAMED HER BETTY JO. SHE WAS A DONINIQUE. JUST AS SWEET AS COULD BE THEY SNUGGLED UP TO EACH OTHER AND PLAYED TOGETHER.

    A FEW MONTHS LATER..BETTY JO DISAPPEARED NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. I WAS DEPRESSED. SO, AFTER WE BOUGHT THIS LITTLE HOUSE..AND THE GARDEN..WELL IT DID NOT GROW VERY WELL..SAD TO SAY MY THUMB IS NOT AS GREEN AS I WOULD LIKE IT TOO BE. HOWEVER, ESTER SUE BECAME OUR LITTLE CHILD. WE FOUND OUT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO HOUSEBREAK A CHICKEN...THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE OR ON THE PAPER.

    I COULDN'T STAND TO KEEP THEM IN THE LITTLE CAGE OR ANY CAGE. I WAS STILL AFRAID TOO LET THEM OUTSIDE BY THEMSELVES. I HAD NO PEN AND NO HEN HOUSE. OUR NEW HOUSE HAD A SHED THAT MY HUSBAND USED TO STACK JUNK IN. AFTER, SIFTING THROUGH ALL OF THE JUNK I FOUND THAT I COULD MAKE A VERY FINE HEN HOUSE OUT OF THE SHED. JOHN WAS SOMEWHAT MIFFED THAT HE LOST HIS TOOLSHED TO THE CHICKENS BUT HE QUICKLY OVERCAME IT WHEN HE REALIIZED THEY WOULD BE OUT THERE AND NOT IN THE HOUSE SO HE QUICKLY JOINED ME IN DECORATING OUR NEW HEN HOUSE! NOW ALL HIS TOOLS ARE IN A TRAVEL CARRIER THAT GOES ON TOP OF OUR CAR! AND HIS TRUCK TOOLBOX! I THINK HE SECRETLY STILL WANTS ANOTHER TOOL SHED BUT WE WILL WORK ON THAT NEXT YEAR!

    BEFORE WINTER CAME, I DECIDED ESTER SUE AND HER NEW FRIENDS RUBY RED-DRESS ALSO A RHODE ISLAND RED AND HER FRIEND LIL BIT A CUTE LITTLE YELLOW BUFF ORPINGTON WHO WAS VERY FRIENDLY AND LOVED TO SIT ON MY LAP AND BE PETTED. THEY WERE GETTING WAY TO BIG AND MESSY TO STAY IN THE HOUSE AND A HEN HOUSE BECAME A TOP PRIORITY. WE STACKED BALES OF HAY IN THERE AND PUT KITTY LITTER BOXES WITH HAY IN THEM FOR THE GIRLS TO SLEEP IN AT NIGHT. AT FIRST THEY WOULD NOT GO TO THE HEN HOUSE..THEY WOULD COME IN OUR HOUSE AND WE WOULD HAVE TO CARRY THEM OUT TO THE HEN HOUSE AND OOOHH DID ESTER SUE THROW A FIT! INSTEAD OF SLEEPING IN THEIR OWN BOXES THEY WOULD ALL FIGHT FOR THE SAME ONE AND FINALLY GOT SOME KIND OF PECKING ORDER GOING ON..ONE THING WE FIGURED OUT RIGHT AWAY..ESTER SUE WAS QUEEN HEN AND SHE REMAINS THE DOMINANT HEN IN OUR FLOCK. SOON WE ADDED MORE CHICKS TO OUR NEW CHILDREN. A NEW BETTY JO-BUFF ORPINGTON..QUITE STANDOFFISH AND DOESNT LIKE TO BE PET. SHE TENDS TO BE A LONER...EVEN THO,SHE WAS RAISED WITH MISSY OUR SECOND DOMINIQUE AND NORMA-JEAN ALSO BUFF ORPINGTON AND VERY STANDOFFISH. WELL, THE GIRLS HAD NO INTEREST IN THEIR HEN HOUSE. ESTER LIKES TO WATCH TV AT NIGHT AND THEIR FAVORITE MOVIE IS CHARLOTTES WEB.

    JOHN HUNG A FUNNY LOOKING TREE BRANCH (IT LOOKED LIKE DEER ANTLERS) RIGHT ABOVE HIS RECLINER FOR THE GIRLS TOO PERCH ON...HE SOON FOUND OUT THAT WAS NOT A GOOD PLACE FOR IT. HE WAS WATCHING TV AND GOT BOMBED WITH CHICKEN POOP. NEEDLESS, TOO SAY HE FREAKED OUT. WHEN THEY WERE STILL SMALL THE THREE GIRLS NORMA-JEAN, MISSY, AND BETTY-JO-2 WOULD SLEEP ON THE BACK OF HIS RECLINER AT NIGHT AND I PUT NEWS PAPER BEHIND THE CHAIR TO CATCH THE MESS. LOL. WE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT HOW TO CARE FOR CHICKENS AND IT SOON BECAME OBVIOUS.

    THE FEED STORE PRETTY MUCH TOLD US WHAT TO FEED THEM AND AT WHAT AGE AND WHAT TO USE FOR BEDDING..EVEN THO THEY WERENT USING THE HEN HOUSE. THEN, I GOT TWO DUCKS AND TWO TURKEYS-ALL BABIES. I FOUND OUT QUICKLY ENOUGH THAT THEY NEEDED TO BE HOUSED SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE RIGHT AWAY! OUT THE SHED THEY WENT BUT THE GIRLS STILL INSISTED ON STAYING IN THE HOUSE AT NIGHT.

    THEN I GOT GIZMO-PRODUCTION RED, FROSTY-DOMINIQUE AND PRECIOUS (WHO WE THOUGHT WAS A GIRL)-PRODUCTION RED. PRECIOUS TURNED OUT TO BE A 25 LB ROOSTER WHO CANT CROW! HE SAYS "DUCK, DUCK, GOOOOOOSE" INSTEAD OF CROWING EVERY MORNING. I ALSO, GOT CREAMY CHICKEN AND ANGEL WHO ALSO TURNED OUT TO BE A ROOSTER BOTH WHITE ROCKS.

    ALL OF THEM SEEMED TO GET ALONG WELL EXCEPT ANGEL..WE GOT HIM WITH TWO BABY GUINEAS-BUGSY AND SCARFACE. I GUESS ANGEL THOUGHT HE WAS A GUINEA AS HE WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GIRLS ONLY THE FEMALE GUINEA. WE QUICKLY FOUND OUT THAT THE GUINEAS WERE QUITE UNSOCIABLE AND COULD BITE HARD! WE ALSO FOUND OUT THAT THEY COULD GET RID OF SNAKES.

    THE GIRLS SOON GOT BOOTED FROM JOHNS RECLINER AND THEY ALL LINED UP ON THE BACK OF THE SOFA. OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE STARTING TOO THINK WE WERE CRAZY. AS THE DAYS BECAME COLDER...THEY CAME IN THE HOUSE MORE...WHAT A MESS THEY MADE! TWO COUCHES AND ONE RECLINER LATER.....

    THE HEN HOUSE BECAME AN EMERGENCY! SOON, I STARTED FEEDING THEM IN THE HEN HOUSE. WE PUT AN ELECTRIC HEATER IN THERE AND A SMALL FAN TO CIRCULATE THE AIR. WE HAD TO PUT A TV AND A RADIO OUT THERE BECAUSE THEY WERE ACCUSTOMED TO THESE NICETIES IN OUR HOUSE
    THEY EVEN HAD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS !!!
    MY POOR HUSBAND WAS SURE I HAD LOST MY MIND! MY DEPRESSION WAS OVER AND I NO LONGER HAD AN EMPTY NEST...MY DAYS BECAME BUSY WITH TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THESE BABIES! THE FEED STORE HAD VERY LITTLE INFORMATION FOR US TO GO ON. I GOT A BOOK FROM MURRAYS HATCHERY FROM AN OLD FRIEND WHO WAS ALSO EXPERIMENTING WITH STARTING A SMALL CHICKEN FARM. STILL NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION....THEN THANK GOD I FOUND BACKYARD CHICKENS WEBSITE!

    AFTER A VERY LONG WINTER OF CARRYING THE GIRLS OUT TO THE HEN HOUSE SPRING WAS FINALLY HERE..AND THE PROBLEMS BEGAN!

    WE FENCED IN THE YARD...AS THE KIDS WERE RUNNING ALL OVER THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
    FINALLY, WE RECLAIMED OUR HOUSE AND THE GIRLS STILL WANDER IN AND OUT SOME DAYS.
    BUT AT NIGHT..THEY NOW GO TO THEIR HEN HOUSE...WELL..MOST OF THEM.


    WELL, THATS ALL FOR TODAY..THERE WILL BE MORE EPISODES SOON....HOPE YOU ENJOY OUR LITTLE CHICKEN FARM!

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