A new­bie’s story

New hen­keeper Vikki Smith, from Cirences­ter, shared her re­flec­tions on her new hobby…

Your Chickens - - Front Page -

We’ve owned chick­ens for two whole days. I am prac­ti­cally an ex­pert. As such, I con­sider my­self highly qual­i­fied to spread my knowl­edge on things I have learned about chick­ens…

They poo a LOT. And not lit­tle poos. Big, stinky, wet poos that shoot out of their rear end like a rocket.

They are noisy. I had vi­sions of soft, re­as­sur­ing, lady-like cluck­ing around me while I serenely sit in their run writ­ing my blog. Nope. I hear squawk­ing, bossy ‘paaaaaarks’ and diva grum­bles. Then there’s the egg song. Bloody hell, they make a song and dance of it when they lay an egg. They have to make sure ev­ery­one knows what a great job they’ve done and cel­e­brate the achieve­ment with a vo­cal per­for­mance to ri­val Bey­oncé. Now, bear­ing in mind th­ese are hy­brid girls who could lay an egg each a day, that’s a bloody con­cert. Se­ri­ously girls. Yes, lay­ing an egg is im­pres­sive, but do you think you could lay off the dra­mat­ics? Just a touch?

They are dirty. They have ab­so­lutely no ob­jec­tion to walk­ing through afore­men­tioned poo, what­ever the tex­ture, size or colour. I once longed for the days when a hen climbed on my lap for a cud­dle? Now? Hm­m­mmm… not so much. Not un­less they wash their feet first.

They do NOT eat ev­ery­thing. They do not like let­tuce. Or cel­ery.

They can jump. But only up­wards. And by that I mean they seem to stand in one spot and then just hop straight up into the air! Not for­wards and up, just up. There is no dig­nity in their jump and no ap­par­ent plan­ning.

When your son ac­ci­den­tally locks you in­side their run, then goes in­doors and puts his head­phones on, chick­ens are pretty good com­pany. De­spite the smell and the spo­radic rocket poos, they are funny lit­tle head bob­bing, neck lurch­ing co­me­di­ans.

Un­in­ten­tion­ally spend­ing an hour and a half trapped in their run is a great way to get them used to your pres­ence.

Chick­ens are fickle. They are only your friend if you have a hand­ful of treats. The rest of the time they pretty much ig­nore you. Or walk all over your feet (with their poo-cov­ered toot­sies) look­ing for food. They have no idea about per­sonal space. Un­less it’s YOU get­ting in THEIR per­sonal space. Then you are sub­ject to an overly dra­matic, feather shak­ing, huffy ‘paaaaaaaaark­ing’ diva-es­que re­sponse.

They are awe­some. Their bad man­ners, bad habits, mut­ter­ing and rocket poos are noth­ing in com­par­i­son to the hap­pi­ness I feel when I’m with them. Hav­ing been liv­ing with them for nearly two hours (al­beit with no choice!) I can con­firm that they make the best house­mates!

ABOVE: Vikki Smith - a steep learn­ing curve TOP RIGHT AND LOWER RIGHT: Vikki’s hens

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