[Discretion Advised: This content may not be suitable for young readers, food nazis(i.e. vegans or vegetarians who are against eating animals/birds), sensitive stomach and/or die hard bird lovers.]
Okay so before you start raising pitchforks and burning torches, no this is not about 2 chickens fighting in a real “cock fight” but there may be some “slaughter” talk in the latter of this, so fair warning.
This is exactly whats been going down over the past year,
An absolute chicken nightmare of coop and poop chaos. LOL
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane to my first real time seeing chickens in person, outside of school or a zoo/farm, ya know where a city girl like me would be used to seeing them. It wasn’t too long ago, just over a year, when I found my home.
Yup, my house came with 2 fierce ass chickens. My mom nicknamed them Ethel and Lucy. I moved in June of last summer. For the most part, we did what the past owners instructed us to do. Feed the chickens daily, try for the same time of day, we chose bright and early whenever we let the dogs out in the morning. Give them only 1/2 of a big mason jar full of feed and change out their bedding/clean out the poop at least once a week.
Pretty simple, besides having to drive 25 miles to the closest tractor supply store for more food/hay every so often. And even better, a neighborhood kid that offered to cut our grass whenever needed was also willing to clean the coop for as low as $5 every week, flipping sweet?! hahaha
After collecting almost 3 eggs each day for the first 3 months we lived here, and growing accustom to being woken up every morning to my neighbors wretched rooster who’s inner clock was obviously broken, thinking he could continue to cock-a-doodle-doo into all hours of the evening, let’s just say I was drowning in eggs.
What I don’t get is this new craze of millennial’s all wanting to be as natural as possible, but so many are too squeamish to try fresh eggs from the source, hilarious, whatever I used them to bake goodies for my staff instead, haha so eat that!
The chick next door had 3 chickens, 2 ducks and 1 rooster, i believe, in September of last year. So I almost felt obligated to keep the tradition going in the neighborhood.
That is, until winter time. It wasn’t long after Halloween when it started snowing and freezing every night. I had to rig up a long stick to hold my chicken’s coop’s door open so their dumb-asses couldn’t lock themselves outside and freeze to death.
I felt so bad seeing their water feeder thingy-ma-bob freeze, i ended up sacrificing my dollar tree cereal bowls, filling it with hot water, with their morning breakfast, hoping the chickens were appreciative. ::Face Palm:: gawd this is so funny to think about now…whatever, darn-it i tried to give them a good life…
Again, I am not used to raising livestock or being any where in the suburbs near chickens before. No matter how much google could tell me about the brown egg laying chickens i had, I didn’t know that when the climate changes, or becomes colder, the chickens stopped laying eggs. I remember calling my cousin in Kansas, hilariously venting about how I thought they were broken chickens. He assured me, they just weren’t warm enough.
Somehow around this time my neighbors coop was compromised. Apparently, a hawk was able to get to one of the chickens, so now there were 2 chickens, 2 ducks, and 1 rooster. And I came home one day to a little baby box looking contraption of 2x4s next to my basement window. It was only 2 1/2 feet high by maybe 3 feet wide. It was storing their birds.
Here’s a picture to show the jist of what they made, note the spacing of the wood, and they didn’t cover it with a tarp, basically just slap a pallet on top with the same amount of space in between the wooden boards.
I can’t remember if they even lasted a few days in that death trap. Poor birds froze to death during a bad snow storm from lack of a real shelter. The kid that takes care of our lawn and coop is dating that specific bird killer/neighbor’s daughter and he’s been quite the gossiper. So we “know” after the first big snowfall, the carcasses were moved towards the creek, and the following night another big snow fall occurred, hiding the bodies from the neighbors until everything started to melt, :::ugh.. blahh:: thats me vomiting in my mouth a little… LOL
Fast forward to February, our chickens have made it so far through the weather and still no sign of the neighbors getting anymore birds. Every trip to the tractor supply store until then, only my kid’s father would go reluctantly. For whatever the reason, I was dragged along and to my surprise, there was a lot more in that store, chatch-key-wise, so I was good, distracted with garden gnomes and in my element of treasure hunting.
Then, the kid sounds off, “MoOomMmy!”
“WHHAAT!?” the jersey girl in me shouts.
I turn the corner to meet my kid and his father holding baby chicks with the biggest brown, puppy-dog-eyes, you can imagine. “There only $2 each.” His father smiles.
I just say whatever and walked away, not realizing his dad is serious AF about getting these chicks. I catch then back near the hay and feed and notice they grabbed 2 of each, stocking up? Okay, i keeping following.
We load up the car, no chicks in sight, i breathe a sigh of relief and then it happens. The look Jay’s dad gives me when he’s about to give into to his tantrums and reward him with candy. The look a sinister, lil sour patch of a brat gives you, when you think they want a hug and really they want to put bubble gum in the back of your hair. He motions BRB.
Within a minute, he returns to the car with a little box. He warned me after we take off, that he had to get more than one. I feel the box on my legs come to a halt and then start to shake and could hear the little peeps. I look at him, and he turns into another vacant parking lot, so he can capture my reaction.
“I only had to get 4,” he said confidently and opened the little carrier.
As you guessed it, I caved. They were so tiny!! A few IG uploads later, I was embracing becoming a mother of a growing bird family. So Mr. chick whisperer (baby daddy) thought he knew what he was doing, neglected to realized we’d still have snow until the end of march- early april, neglected to think about how the other chickens would be accepting of the chicks, didn’t think about where we would keep them until they were big enough to meet the elders.
We did our best finding an old plastic toys bin we could rig up to be a temporary home, 6 weeks past and they looked like crazy ass teenage chickens do, and weather permitting or not we had to keep them outside, I refused to let animals stink up my house or basement or garage.
It was now or never we thought, for a week or so we kept them outside near the coop’s run, for hours at a time we’d turn the plastic bin on it’s side so the elders could at least see the chicks and start to hopefully grow fond of. I’m sure the chicks hated us, placing them in front of the elders like toys, behind the glass, just waiting to be yoked up.
After the week past, we took turns putting the chickens together, at first, at least when we were around, the elders paid no attention to the little ones. But feeding time was another story, 2 weeks in to the rotation, not letting them be alone together or sleep together just yet, we tried to serve them breakfast together.
We poured a full jar of feed from the elders in a line towards the chicks. Mind you the Chicks had been eating a “chick food” diet or crumbled feed basically until then so I understand if they weren’t to keen on eating, but as far as they elder chickens, it was as if they were proving a point that the chicks were not welcome. They ate and ate and chased the chicks away from the feed as fast as they could.
We gave it a rest for a few days after that, but one of the last big freezes in March was upon us. FAck it… either freeze outside or stay a night in the coop and have a chance.
The next 2 days were grueling, I was a nervous nelly, running back and forth to the coop in the snow storm. All i could do was threaten the bigger chickens, “If you touch one of those chicks I will eat you!” I’d shout at them.
The storm passed and the chicks were still alive! I thought it was over, but it was just the silence before the storm, or should i say cock fight, okay so maybe I lied, there is a little bit of fighting among the chickens.
Lied again, the Elders are murderers! I said it, I really felt terrible, but those bastards straight merc’d the biggest chick of the group and left him laying there with his guts out, like c’mon! Within a day another one went missing, no lie, we checked the coop, every corner, there was 2 layers of metal chicken wire covering the entire thing, no big holes, but some how we were down to 2 chicks. Did they eat him.. entirely? I try not to think about it.. I like to think he’s the only one that got away. The lucky one.
I sent Jay’s dad to dispose of the body and hopefully save the last 2, but it was too late. As he was entering the coop, as he says, one chick jumped back, probably being scared of him and fell into one of the Elder chickens which then triggered the Elder chicken to peck the shit out of him, poor thing didn’t have a chance, the chick hit the ground by the time he could get the rake close to the Elder chicken and push her away.
And there was one, what do we do now? Can I let it go in the woods? Should I give it away? How can I separate them. We stood there in shock trying to figure something out quickly.
“He’s not moving!” Jayce points to the inevitable. Somehow the last chick just heeled over right in front of our eyes, heart attack? stroke? The madness!
Are you effing kidding me?! I’m done! And i left my kid outside with his dad to figure out that mess. Never been so frustrated or wanted to throw them damn Elder chickens in my fire pit before. To think, all those cold nights I stayed awake making sure their dumbasses didn’t freeze and had food and water … gRrr.. just… gRrr….
I’m no hypocrite but I don’t consider myself a chicken murderer, those damn old chickens are just fierce AF.. now I know how cock fights are possible after seeing that shit first hand, territorial is an understatement. Effing ruthless I’ll tell ya.
As I had hoped, my kid’s father has not said word about getting anymore chicks since then, but of course someone else did.
The gossip prince foreshadows what it yet to come. The neighbors have apparently stocked up on some new chicks, too. This time they are meat-chickens, not intended to eat he says, they are pets. I’m confused. But where are they? Still being kept in the basement?
The neighbor’s chicks didn’t see the light of day until this past month. I don’t even wanna know how they managed or the quality of life that’s in that household, i don’t want to judge anymore than I already do, ::ugh blahh:: sorry… not sorry…
At this point, the chicks are being held in a plastic toddler’s play pen in their backyard, I can see it clearly from my kitchen window.
I can’t believe how much I have rambled on about so far,
and this isn’t even where isSh goes down yet..
Hope you enjoyed [Part 1] “benefits to brutality”
Stay tuned for more!
Thanks for reading!