Part-Time Chicken Mom

Aunt Tat

Dec 8, 2020
Portland, Oregon
Greetings fellow cluckers.
This summer, unbeknownst to us, one of our neighbor's chickens had taken a liking to my husband and I and started hanging around with us in the garage. Earlier in the year, she had gone exploring and we were her new world. Somehow she managed to jump the 6' wood fence to our yard and began her exploration in earnest. We thought the cat had started digging in our raised garden bed, so we put some PVC pipes across the bed and topped that with some wire. The "Cat" didn't get in it again.

Later, I discovered a fern that had all been dug up and mulch all over the place! "Well that darn cat!!! (or it could have been our housemate's corgi!)
Well, after Ms. Henny Penny/Penelope/Penrietta, a Barred Rock Hen (I learned on my own), started roosting up in our garage...pooping on stuff, and I started reading up on chickens, I realized the vandal to our plants was a chicken!!

Later, upon going into our shed, we discovered she'd had been sleeping at our house all summer!!! Poop all over everything! But to her credit, we also discovered her nest. She had been paying her rent with delicious brown eggs!

To make a long story short, once we rearranged the shelf access and she turned her beak up at the roost we made, she figured out how to get in the cabinets between our furnace and kitchen door. There she stayed at night until Thanksgiving. The goofball comes over several times a week, hops up into her box and leaves an egg. At night, she's snug in her coop next door.

Needless to say, we've fallen in love with chickens. Makes sense. We have parrots too!

We need to get a new shed for garden equipment, take down the current shed and use it for the chicken coop/run. I need it easy to access because of balance problems. We'll be building a chicken tractor with PVC and chicken wire or similar, and let them free-range to keep pathways clear of weeds and to help cultivate the garden.

We have almost a half-acre and we can have 4 or 5 chickens/no roosters. So far my favorite, of course, is Barred Rock, but we're also open to Rhode Island Reds. We just want them for pets/eggs. And they need to be large enough to stand up to our cat (who does fine with Penny) as well as the resident Corgi.

On my own, I've learned quite a bit thanks to the internet and of course, nothing is an educator like experience - which is why I'm pretty good at learning from OTHER people's experiences.
I'm in the Portland Oregon Metro area. Have joined Oregon Backyard Chickens and Garden too.

I'm smitten with the sound of Ms. Henny Penny (and lord help me, I've been thinking of names for more chickens!!)

As with my parrots, we started out Med. Size - Congo African Greys. We had an Umbrella Cockatoo, but he passed away (and my heart STILL aches for him and it's been 6 years!) We have 2 Blue & Gold Macaws a 20 yr old (+/-) female who DOES lay eggs and a 60-70 year old male who doesn't EVEN try to mate with the female. In fact when Princess Buttercup is getting into her egg laying mode, she'll get under my desk (Leroy's domain) while she picks at the bedding while Leroy stands outside next to me waiting until the coast is clear. Buttercup will either come out or lay an egg.

Our neighbor had some silkies, but they got snatched up. I guess that's why I feel better with larger chickens. But I've learned if my heart strings get pulled, I'm a mass of quivering jello LOL

Thanks for contacting me and I look forward to sharing my EGGcellent journey with everyone!
Hello from Nova Scotia and welcome to BYC! You’ve joined a great and resourceful community! Enjoy your journey!

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