Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #221

November 3, 2013: Freebird and Chickaroo

Last night we added two more members to the Squalor Holler menagerie—the new additions are chickens, a Maran cross named Freebird and a Buff Orphington named Chickaroo. The same people who gave me Snooky and Henrietta gave me these grrrrrrrrls. I was hesitant to take them on because I had some bad chicken luck this past year.

First of all, Nimby, who was a truly great bird, died in my arms. Then an ermine took out Catchi, Henny Penny Palin, Snooky, and Henrietta. The deaths were quite sudden, especially the last two. I ran inside to tell Pete about Snooky. Then I went out and discovered that the Ermine had also killed the other bird.

We put the birds in deep freeze. Then this spring I took them out to the woods and left their corpses for the critters. I (of course) felt terrible about this. I’ve since felt a sense that something is missing each time I’ve entered the goat shed. I’d move in the direction of our insulated roost box, thinking that I needed to check in on my birds. Then I’d remember that we no longer have chickens.

Anne Corinne, who gave me Snooky and Henrietta, recently contacted me and said that she had the bird for me. She said that “Freebird is a special bird who needs a good home.” She added that Freebird prefers being around people to being around other chickens, and in fact her other chickens pick on her.

Pete and I went to Sun Circle Farm a few weeks ago and helped harvest some vegetables. I saw Freebird wandering around, checking out what was going on. Right then I knew that she was the bird for me. Chickaroo is her companion. Trillium, age 11, and Leila, age 8, picked her out for us.

A week ago Pete rebuilt the coop, making it ermine proof. And last night we went over to Sun Circle for dinner and to pick up the birds. The kids had put them in a small dog carrier. After dinner, I put the carrier in the back of the truck and brought the birds home. We put the chickens in their roost, where they spent the night. This morning, I opened the box and found an egg. This was Freebird’s way of saying “So far, this place is okay.”

I now must include another task in my already full schedule; meaning I must find time in which to chicken sit while Freebird and Chickaroo run free. My thoughts on this matter (right now) only include today. Later, after running the dogs, I’ll put the dogs inside, and then I’ll let the goats and chickens into the front yard. I’ll then both supervise the upper animal activities and clean the goat pen simultaneously. I might also try some target training.

The ark is now full again. It’s not going down because it has no leaks and is very well balanced. But the water is again at the gunnels. What to do? Quite obviously, we need a bigger boat.

Next: 222: 11/3/13: Maintaining Peace in the Peaceable Kingdom