Monday, June 19, 2017

Am I A Bad Mom

Shortly after we purchased the farm, but long before renovations were done, I spoke with a neighbor and mentioned that, when we were finally able to move in, I planned on getting chickens.   The next time we came to the farm to work, when we pulled into the driveway, two young roosters came walking through the yard.  I was stunned, at first, then realized the neighbor must have had a hand in this poultry arrival.  I telephoned her and discovered that she had spoken to a local fellow they call “The Chicken Man” and asked if he could give me some chickens.  I guess I should have specified hens!

We weren’t living at the farm yet and all of our time and efforts were going into the renovation.  We didn’t have time to build a chicken coop.  But, we did have an outbuilding that the realtor had called a garage (it was only a garage in the sense that it had three walls and a large opening in the front—ramshackled was more appropriate).  The roosters moved in shortly thereafter.   Now I was the proud owner of two leghorn roosters who needed names.   Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were now residents of a farm that, for all intents and purposes, didn’t even exist yet.

With no real fencing or coop in place, safety was of a large concern.  And, with us only working at the farm 2-3 days a week, we couldn’t keep a close eye on them, either.  The area has an overabundant population of coyotes, as well as hawks, owls and other assorted wildlife.  We arrived one day to find that Sigmund had been the victim of some sort of attack.  Carl, on the other hand, was still quite alive and thriving.

A month or so later, we arrived at the farm to find a large cage with a hen and two baby chicks inside.  I again telephoned the neighbor and, sure enough, she had brought the new family to the farm.  I couldn’t seem to make her understand that I didn’t need chickens until after we moved in.  Of course, they needed names, too.  The mom, with her shape and jet black coloring begged to be called Raven and the white babies were Gracie and Georgette.

During this time, I also discovered that Carl was an aggressive bird with a propensity to flogging.   Since I was new to chickens, I began doing research to see if I could break this bird of his nasty habit.  I mentioned it to my neighbor and she then tells me that “The Chicken Man” raises fighting roosters.  OhMyGosh!, I had a fighting rooster.  It seems that Sigmund and Carl had never been “fought” but came from a long blood-line of fighters.  Carl, evidently, had “inherited” the warrior gene.

Carl Jung
Right before our move, I was in Tractor Supply one day and it just happened to be “Chick Days.”  I found some beautiful Speckled Sussex chicks and brought them home.  They lived in one of our unused bathroom’s tub for a few weeks until we moved and took them to the farm.  This was all about eight months after our roosters first arrived.  We set about building a coop shortly thereafter but not before Raven had hatched out another six chicks.    My cousin also gifted me with a Rhode Island Red and a Light Sussex as a housewarming gift.

Of course, being a new chicken Mom, I wanted to give each one their own special name.  The Speckled Sussex hens were named Thelma and LouiseRaven’s new babies were named Bette, Joan, Marlene, Greta, Ingrid and Lauren.  The two hens my cousin gifted to me were named Blanche and Dorothy.  And, as more chickens joined the flock, they all received names, too.   But, as time passed and the flock grew, I lagged behind in my naming duties.  Soon, the hens were all called “baby-girl” and the roosters were all called “pretty-boy” for lack of actual names.

The Early Years
Now that the flock is so large, I often still feel guilty for not giving each one their own unique and special name. 

Does that make me a Bad Mom?

To A Life Of Simplicity
Happy Homesteading!
~ Susan & Rick
Celtic Acres Farm

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About the Author:
Susan along with her husband, Rick, are the owners of Celtic Acres Farm, an organic, self-sufficient, off-grid farm where they raise chickens, ducks, goats and a pig, rescue dogs and cats, grow their own heirloom, non-gmo produce, create handmade crafts and home d├ęcor items, and strive to live a self-sustaining lifestyle while attempting to carve out that little piece of paradise where they can live free, breathe free and commune with nature.
Celtic Acres Farms is committed to healthy animals, a greener planet, recycling-reusing-repurposing, while maintaining our rural heritage and sharing it with others. We believe that we must all lead the way to a more sustainable future while never forgetting the things of the past. 

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