Chilli, Isabella and… Freddy

Cheeep Cheeep go the chickens …. *almost* all of the time. Constant like toddler bickering the cheeping goes on. Cuteness gives way to persistence and with this migraine anything repetitive is bad. Anyway….

While they are very little they are living in a deep plastic container filled with light pet bedding material over newspaper. The bedding is kinda like wood shavings and they’ve been scratching at this consistently which I think is good behaviour for baby chickens. What do I know? Nothing except the Cheeep cheep cheeping.

We have no idea if they are male or female yet. Should we end up with roosters we will probably need to have them putdown as the council won’t let us keep them. Was it a good idea letting the kids name them?

Chilli is the darkest in colour and eldest based on size. She loves a good head rub. She is officially mum&dads chicken.

Isabella is the palest in colour and definitely the fattest and most adventurous. She eats eats eats all of the time and is Kat’s chicken.

Freddy is the smallest of the three and is more brown than yellow but not as dark as Chilli. She is Aidan’s chicken so has been almost cuddled to death but doesn’t seem to mind.

We took them out into the backyard yesterday… Chhep cheep chheeeeep. They went nuts loving the fresh grass to pull and scratch at. However we have to be vigilant, as the pair of magpies that we regularly hand feed seemed more than a little interested in a chicklet for lunch. Magbert (as one of these magpies is called) tried getting into the chicks plastic box when we weren’t looking and swooped the babies twice. We suspect the maggies have babies of their own in their Norfolk pine nest, as they’ve been begging more regularly in recent days.

No harm came to the chickadees but we brought them inside and let them dance with the remote control R2D2 instead. Cheeep cheep Cheeep

Family ritual of tapas/fingerfood and watching Sydney Weekender on Saturday afternoon was accompanied by more Chhep Cheeep cheeping and D did ask the question… Do they ever stop cheeping?

Another hour went by and our excited kids had been fed bathed and put into bed..lights out. It was then that we heard it… silence.

Quietly peeping into the chickens box we could see them all curled up on top of each other, sound asleep. Lights out for you three as well. So cute.

Seems our family just grew by three balls of cheeping fluff.


The Next Big Adventure

Apparently in the words of my husband – I’m clucky.

Well IF that were true, I’d be in trouble as I am currently contracting and in no place financially to consider taking time off for a third child. IF that were true, I would think that a pet might be the solution – but your common dog or a cat is a little like a child – all take take take and very little give. Plus the hours of supervision required would almost certainly equal that needed to have another baby anyway. So, it has come down to fish or birds… not that I’m clucky.

Now before the fish/bird enthusiasts unite to tell me what a rotten person I am for not thinking these creatures require as much attention as a child – I’d like to say – toilet cleaner. I am pretty sure, a fish can not get stuck into toilet cleaner as if it were a chocolate milkshake and I’m almost certain chickens can’t paint the walls of the house with butter. So with respect – toilet cleaner.

As it so happens, the goodly teachers at my son’s daycare centre have been running the living eggs project. Basically this is where Living Eggs supply the school with eggs in an incubator so the children can watch them hatch and grow for the first two weeks. What happens next to these cute bundles of yellow fluff? Well, they get ugly for a good few months while their feathers grow out. They stay at ugly camp for a while until they emerge, phoenix-esque, resplendid in feathers. Tell me how often you see pictures of chickens in their teenage weeks? Not bloody often. Maybe the Cluck MacPherson of chickens was spotted at the 13 week mark.. maybe.

When I was a kid, my brother got to bring home six chickens from a similar project, so I got to see them go through the ugly phase. I’m not particularly scared of it. I’d like to teach my kids that something cute can get quite ugly for a while but then turn into something useful – like egg-laying hens. I think this will adequately prepare them for adolescence and hopefully set the expectatioon that one day, they better bring me home something useful like eggs or a robot.

So anyway, I’ve volunteered to take some of these chicks at the end of this week and raise them in our surburban backyard on a diet of pellets, grit, kitchen scraps and my failed masterchef creations. I’m naively optimistic and am wondering if I should spend any time developing a plan for how to cope. I mean, what will I do the first time one of the chickens poos on my child or one of my children wants to take the chickens for a swim in the bathtub? Action plan: laugh. cry. invest in more bubblewrap.

It’s a big adventure for me, a bit of extra chaos to contend with but it will serve a fantastic higher purpose. When David says to me “you’re clucky”.. I’ll be able to say, “no darling, that’s the chickens.. time for you to feed them”.

ps. I’m not clucky.

Blue and grey

I had a plan.
It was written down, in blue squares and grey squares and it had figures and goals and objectives and a defined border.
Then I had to go and put a picture on the plan. A little graphic to make it more appealing – to me. And somehow the little graphic made grammer points like in to and into so important. The plan melted into a disagreement and a disagreeableness that was unexpected. I was trying to convey meaning. To be “down to earth” and “say what I really think”.. but that’s what I do here, in my safe (public) private rambles where consequence is what I find at the end of a paragraph.
Moves to the next paragraph with no subject.
The argument in my head, goes something like this. In no particular order of course.
I want to love my life.
I want to love my job and my family.
I want to love the little bits of me, that make the blue and grey, less…
Blue and grey.