Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chicken Rental

Meet Gladys and Clarice, the chickens who lived with us for about a week and a half.  Since my brother starting raising chickens, I've wanted some, too.  But we have significantly less space in New York City than he does in Arizona.  

Now that we do have an outdoor space, though, we decided to have a chicken test run--maybe it would work out.  We were ready: we built a coop, bought some hay and feed, then went to our friend's Connecticut farm to pick them up.  They came home and got comfortable pretty quick; we had our first egg later that day.  The cats were both excited and terrified, but were certainly fascinated about the new strange things in the yard. By the end of the week, however, Melvin was comfortable enough to lounge out under the coop.

Our first egg was Clarice's and it was blue.  She's the darker Ameraucana, and Gladys is the brown one. Poor Gladys  tended to get pecked by Clarice, but she was definitely the more friendly of the two.

They both went crazy for greens.  We donated our cilantro to keep them away from the ferns and bleeding hearts, and then we bought them some kale which they devoured with crazy intensity.

When the cats first would get too close for comfort, the chickens would start making this "get away" cluck, and then the cats would get scared and run off.  Eventually Melvin realized that the chickens were too big to be food, and he was allowed to be outside if he ignored them.  I'm sure that if there was a scuffle, the chickens would come out on top, though.

They were great to have, but they did decimate some of our plants (see above)  and while the mess didn't really bother me (chicken poop is way easier to clean up than dog poop), the flies it attracted did. There just wasn't enough open space to get away from the flies. So we took them home again and came home with easier to care for plants. But one day we will continue our adventures with chickens.


  1. Awwww... sorry you had to let them go...but glad you had the experience!! :)

  2. ahhhh... but at least you tried, now come to Sweden and visit my mothers chickens!