I have resisted any urges to get even more chickens this Spring by getting a gigantic dog to occupy my time and planning a visit to a local farm that ordered over 200 chicks for my “Chick Fix”. I promise to take pictures.
Since I am not setting up brooders or hatching eggs, I have a few moments to reflect on my first year of Chicken Learnin’. Are you becoming a crazy chicken person this year? Perhaps you would like to know what schooling you are in for?
#1 - You cannot have enough weather apps on your phone. Get them all. You will very soon need to be able to predict when it is a good idea to let the chickens out, so get cracking. You can’t just trust the weatherman. On a similar vein, you will soon know when the sun rises and when it sets with pin-point accuracy, because if you don’t, opossums will eat your chickens. Don’t worry, they have apps for that, too.
#4 - You will experience the joy of giving. Giving eggs that is... People love farm fresh eggs. You can give them to your mom, your aunts, your cousins, your friends, the carpenter that makes cabinets and gives you shavings for the coop in bags so big you can’t move them, the local 4-H kid that needs a project, and don’t get me started on how popular you will be on Easter!
#5 - Prepare yourself for the onslaught of chicken kitsch & chotchkies. And chicken memes. When people see anything that remotely resembles chickens, they will think of you, and they will tag you on Facebook. I don’t know if it is all the good egg giving karma, but I’ve gotten some sweet chicken stuff this year. It may seem small, but another bonus is that you now have your very own unique ice breaker. Everyone loves a good chicken story. I don’t think it is any coincidence that THE quintessential joke is about a chicken.
Chickens love their routines, so anytime you need to change it, plan on a certain amount of coaxing!
They will sit up late with you and help you calculate the proper dosage of Duramycin for your sick chicken, which will not be on the package. They will help you find a home for your “Too Many Roos" and give you a giant dog. They will be compilers of chicken raising information, enablers of your chicken habit, and consolers when you lose a friend, be it human or chicken. I’ve been inspired by many chicken people. While I can’t speak for them all, I feel confident in saying - “C’mon over! We can’t wait to meet you and talk some poultry!”