My 9/11 chickens

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Gnomad, May 19, 2010.

  1. Gnomad

    Gnomad Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    As most of us in the US can remember, 11 September 2001 was a transformative day and in the early hours of the tragedy actions were taken rather quickly. One of those actions was to ground all civilian air traffic. One of those grounded planes was a KAL 747 air freighter carrying approximately 7,500 day old chicks bound for Korea, a large batch of now homeless fuzzies without great prospects, nobody knew how long it would be until air traffic moved again and by then the fuzzies would be well past their "best by" date, lacking any care, food or water. The decision was made to humanely gas the entire brood unless someone had a better idea. In stepped the owner of a local commercial hatchery who rushed to the rescue, making many trips to ferry the entire crop of chicks to his facility in Wasilla (the same place as the famous Sarah Palin interview with the turkeys going into the killing cone in the background) and from there he managed to get the local fish wrapper to run a story offering up the chicks to somebody, anybody, for $.25 each. We were hosting an exchange student from Germany at the time, who decided that we should adopt some of these chicks...I figured what could possibly go wrong? They are just chickens, right?
    We pull up to the Triple D and we could hear them before we even got out of the car. Sara was concerned that he might run out of chicks, not likely. There were pallets of chicks, all cheeping their hearts out in the shipping cartons, with the owner eager to rehome them as he hadn't anticipated getting 7.5K chicks so late in the season-September is late fall or early winter here, entirely the wrong season to start chicks and he was caught flat footed trying to feed them. There were white chicks and brown chicks. He told us that the white chicks were hens and the brown ones were roosters, so we picked up 17 "hens" and 3 "roosters" and scuttled home with our cardboard shipping box of little peepers.
    We still had a waterer and a feeder from our last batch of birds that we thoughtfully raised for the entertainment of the local raptor population, water was easy to come by but food was a tougher problem. Nobody local was ready for the invasion of wayward chickens, so the birds learned early on to live on regular chicken feed as the proper crumbles were hard to source. We did quite well, IIRC we only lost 1 bird which for us is pretty average, we always get at least one Darwin Award winner in every batch. Out hopes were quite high for those fresh tasty eggs,, we had a lot of hens, but one learns not to count those eggs before the hens hand them over, especially when those hens start to crow.....

    More later. Cuz I'm a stinker. [​IMG]

  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    were waiting for the next chapter...........
  3. Gnomad

    Gnomad Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    On the cartons the chicks came in were the particulars of the birds, the farm they came from, the breed, even a web address to download the PDF datasheets on the birds. There were graphs showing expected ratios of feed to finished weight and egg production, I was impressed. I'd never raised chicks that had an owners manual. I didn't get a shop manual so I didn't take any of the chicks apart [​IMG] to see how they worked. So there we were with our 3 hybrid roosters and our 16 or so hens, unfortunately the hens were beginning to show signs of an amazing transformation. As they feathered out, the hens were showing a bit more comb that was customary and when they started to crow we realised that we had been somewhat misled. In the end, we had ourselves 15 or 16 roosters and 3 hens, which is alternately equally parts awesome and insane. The hens got way more attention that they wanted, we finally had to separate the sexes, whcih didn't do much for the dispostion of the already rather surly leghorn roosters. One had to keep an eye on the little monsters when you were in the pen with them. For once, I wished for a hawk, as Sara the exchange student was gentle and sensitive and had I followed my natural inclination to harvest those birds her mind would have been blown. She's now a vegetarian. One morning, after being awakened rudely at sunup, which here in the 907 happens really early in the summer, I was in the yard with a machete in my hand when I saw Sara standing there, watching me, and knew that would not be a good day to harvest the birds. A lucky day for them...
  4. chicken boy sam

    chicken boy sam Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    Fantastic story!!!!!!!
  5. Bantimna

    Bantimna Songster

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
  6. sheldon

    sheldon In the Brooder

    May 7, 2010
    fooled by a red sex link amirite
  7. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  8. Gnomad

    Gnomad Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    And if the misidentified chicks weren't wierd enough-the final disposition was kind of different.

    I put the family on notice that the roosters at least had to go. 15 roosters crowing the sun into rising every morning is worse than having a newborn in the house, and they tell me to never, never, never shake a chicken. The choice was to rehome the monsters or it was off to freezer camp, and like I said, I had the machete ready to go. The roosters were in their prime and ready to harvest, if it weren't for the pesky German girl who would suffer some sort of psychological damage had I followed my first instincts. A listing was posted on the local feed store (now a Harley Dealership) bulletin board and a fellow from Big lake showed up, in a saffron robe. Yes, a Bhuddist showed up to get the chickens. I was a bit confused, as I was under the impression that bhuddists were strictly vegetarians, he told us that it was OK to eat white chickens as white was a holy color or something similar. Well, his robes were saffron but his money was green and his bag was burlap so we fetched his chickens and off they went, ending the saga of the 9/11 chickens.

    It was an interesting way to get chickens. Sara enjoyed the chickens right up until the incident....she was sorry to see them go but it was them or me. And they couldn't find anyone willing to pay for me... [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by