I grew up in the city so farm life was something that I often thought of, but was never able to attain. My family did have a 50 acre hay farm in the city limits, but I was never able to get any farm animals. After high school I joined the military and met my husband, Joe. Joe had grown up in Amish country, Ohio. Farming was something he knew and kind of loved. After three years of marrage and a move into our third house, we discovered a local chicken auction. We set up a coup and headed out to get some chicken.
This was all new to me. When I heard chicken I thought of KFC, Zaxby's, or Bojangles. I had never thought of keeping them as pets! So my now DH Joe and I set forth to get some egg layers. That is when I discovered these adorable fluffy butts called silkies. Hook, Line, Sinker. I caught the silkie bug. There wern't many silkie hens at the auction this day, but there was one that caught my eye, a non-bearded white silkie with two chicks under her. The chicks looked like barnyard mixes but I didn't care, I thought they were adorable! I drug my husband over to the dog crate she was in, and asked if we could buy her and her babies. He was a little unsure at first because the way the auction worked was you bid a price say, $5, then multiply that buy the number of birds in the box, so for her, x 3, so $15. He didn't really want a mother hen, he wanted eggs. As I paruse the shelves I come across a quartet of 2 week old white silkies. I then formulate a plan... I show Joe the babies and ask if we can get them. Still hesitant he says he will see how they go when they go down the line.
Sitting in the seats at the auction, we watch as crate after crate of roosters and meat bird cross. Finally the Mother hen with two chicks comes up. Listening intently, we both hear the auctioneer describe the lot, "All one money" I look at Joe and he immediatly throws our number up. A short auction war later, I am the proud new owner of a silkie hen with two chicks!
The four fluff balls come up a short time later. They were gorgeous birds I thought, but no one bidded on them. We ended up getting them for a $1 a piece. I was beyond happy. We got them and the few boxes of Gold Star laying hens home and settled. Momma, as I call her now, was the last to be unloaded. I look to Joe holding the pet crate with Momma and her babies, and a card board box with the other 4 chicks and ask, will they be okay together? So we cleaned out a rabbit hutch and put Momma and the original two in then slowly introduced the other 4 chicks to her. One by one, each new chick ran to the hen and burried itself in her fluff, Momma clucked contently, and started preening and cooing. She accepted them.
Well the farm has moved from North Carolina to North East Ohio, and wow! What a change... There is a lot more snow up here. Luckily, the property that we are staying on is family owned so as long as we care for the house and yard, we are able to do pretty much anything... well, within reason since we are now IN TOWN... I don't like that... but hey, free rent, right? Joe and I have started to set up and build additional coops and runs. We are now down to three colors, White, Black and Buff. Each of our colors have Showgirls mixed in to the flocks, since I have fallen for the Q-tip like features of them. Our white group also has a sizzle, her name is Rihanna, and right now, she is not a pretty looking bird, nor is she laying . I now have a little more time to spend with them and I also don't have to contend with a sudden deployment and wonder if my birds will be cared for.