My marching orders were clear. 9 chickens. No more. Permitting 9 was even over Cowboy’s comfort level. His conservative nature wanted three to start with. Three to learn from. Three, he figured, we could manage without incident and have success with. We’d grow with time he assured me.
But, I reasoned, our family goes through 6 dozen eggs every two weeks. Assuming the chicken would faithfully deliver an egg a day, they’d still be falling short for our family’s mad-egg consumption. We’d be doing all the work to have chickens in the backyard and would still have to supplement from the grocery store. “Fine”, he said, ” 6. But that’s it!” Over the months I’m not sure how it happened but we agreed that starting our flock with 9 chickens would give us adequate experience while providing the family with enough eggs – I’d just have to cut back on the quiches and other high egg consuming recipes I’m ‘so fond’ of making (a perfectly valid excuse to cut back on cooking).
For months while he built the coop I devoted my spare time to chicken research. I read books, I studied, I executed an intensive internet information absorption plan on the subject. I visited farms and homesteads – virtual and real. I Even did some hands-on chicken sitting. I thought I had a good grasp on the subject until I was exposed to prolectoamarapullus.
Prolectoamarapullus is a chicken sickness that comes on suddenly and without warning. One minute a person is perfectly sane and rational, the next, upon seeing dozens and dozens of fuzzy, cuddly, baby chicks with those fuzzy chicky-bottoms and fuzzy chicky-cheeks,and their fuzzy chicky-heads not to mention those colors!! The designs and patterns on their fuzzy little bodies – needless to say, that same sane person is reduced to a frantic, eye-bulging, chicken buying lunatic. Prolectoamarapullus, the latin name for The Lure of Chicken Love, is very real and the cause of which caused me to walk out of the feed store with 12 of the most beautiful chicks in existence.
I was exposed to Proletoamarapulls 6 weeks ago when, on a whim, the Natives and I decided to visit the little chicks at our local feed store. Before this visit, I had researched the different chicken breeds and settled on the Buff Orpingtons for our starter flock . . . it didn’t exactly go that way. Instead the Natives and I came home with 3 North Stars.
Spitfire with ‘Da Brat’
Squirrel with ‘Gangsta Boo’
Chief and ‘Rah-Digga’
All was going along swimmingly until 6 weeks later our local feed store notified us that the Buff Orpingoton’s we were expecting were shipping in. Chief and I rose early that day to make sure we got our girls. Little did I know the feed store had Cochins, Silver-Laced Wynadottes, Ameraucanas, and Australorps! My heart started racing. Truly it did. There was a crowd ahead of me, a friend of mine is known for walking in and buying whole crates of them at one time and she warned me of others like her. I felt panicked and started sweating. My mind was racing, all I could think about were the facts I’d read about these breeds and how perfect they’d be for our burgeoning homestead. When at last my turn came up I ordered 4 chickens. At least that’s what I thought I was doing. Yet with a head full of fuzz, what actually came out of my mouth was 3 of each breed. I couldn’t stop, I was in the throes of the sickness and out of my wits.
Meet the Ladies
Cowboy wasn’t pleased. He didn’t speak to me for a couple of hours. He doesn’t believe in Prolectoamarapullus. I think he thinks I made it up. But he wasn’t there and couldn’t possibly understand. I doubt even he could have resisted the beauty and lure of all those baby chicks. The Natives, on the other hand, LOVED me!! Our starter flock is now 15 . . . I never got the Buff Orpington’s . . . but Friday’s coming and the feed store is expecting a new shipment. . .
but Cowboy’s demanding I be quarantined.