So I have hit a point where there are currently seven young chickens of various ages in my living room. I got the part where I was getting so many peeps I stopped blogging about it because
I am a terrible blogger I was
really fucking busy.
Or course not all of the peeps I got made it, one died of an impacted crop, one from a mystery illness and another from having the crap beat out of it by the adult hens because fuck that peep that's why. It also turns out that one of them developed a nasty cough and I shoved everyone on antibiotics because that is what the feed store said to do and in the country feed store = animal vet.
So it's been exciting.
I finally had to break down and go buy a bigger plastic bin to act as a cage because the five peeps that are together insist on growing a whole lot. My advice to anyone else who is thinking of raising peeps and has no outbuilding* in which to do it is,
You know what chickens like to do? Eat and poop. Poop and eat. I am torn between admiration for my little guys and a desire to see them in a baking dish. Everything is dirty and my living room is filled with feed sacks, waterer's, chicken meds, paper towels and heat lamps. It's like heating your house in the summertime! Yay.
A typical day involves me cleaning out their cages. Then a few hours later I've found that one of them has managed to bump the waterer and is now standing in a poop swamp. After I fix that one of them will manage to rip up all the bedding and shove it in a corner in her quest for hidden goodies. Then the peep without a real feeder will dump all the food on the ground and dust bathe in it and then refuse to eat it. If I refill the feeder she will take another dust bath. Repeat until I get fed up and cut her off where she will become the saddest peep ever.
You know what, how in the fuck do people do this with human children? Seven chickens is enough to drain every single maternal instinct out of my body by noon. Afternoon I have to coast on Holly's deep and abiding love of all animals.**
So I have been fantasizing about the day when I can turn them all loose to be bullied into submission by the older chickens.
There is also nothing quite like being jerked out of a sound sleep by a peep fight. They don't really fight, they just sort of posture. Pretty much exactly like people do. Heads extended to the max and chest puffed out. They look like two teenage boys trying to get in a fight in a Denny's parking lot.
I stagger blearily into living room after hearing loud peeping only to see two peeps hopping around, chests almost touching.
“You want a piece of me, huh? Huh?
“Watcha gonna do about it?”
At this point both of them are wore out because it's the middle of the fucking night and chickens do sleep at night (mostly) and both their heads start to droop and then they lay down right where they were fucking standing and go to sleep. Often on top of each other and I feel like I have been woken up to watch the cutest shadow boxing match ever.
Then I go back to bed and dream of chickens.
Mostly cooked in cream sauce.
*I have a rule called no unattended heaters in outbuildings at all ever. I think most people would think this is a bit over the top, but do you know how flammable hay is? Answer: Really, really motherfucking flammable.
**Except guinea hens. Fuck those guys.