Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seven chickens

We have the chickens!!!
I finished painting the inside of the coop white and we went down the street to collect the shavings from the carpenter. After dropping them off at home we drove down to Lumley where I had seen the chickens. They were right in the middle of a market and it is a busy time of day at 5:00 because people are buying the food they need for dinner. So Andrew stayed in the car while I took Albert, John, and Levi to check it out. We had to slide between booths of hanging garlic, bowls of beans, smelly fresh fish laying on trays. Once we had squeezed through the small space to get to the chickens and bartered with the lady to determine a price I let Albert pick his chicken. The lady shoved an arm into the cage of about 20 chickens and yanked the pointed out rooster. It was a little alarming how rough she was with it but I am sure she thought he wasn't living past tonight anyway. So then I held John up to pick his chicken. He also picked a rooster and so ended a large selection of birds for the rest of the family. He had the funniest expression. One of uncertainty, as if he didn't know if he still wanted this squawking, flapping, talon ended bird. But the lady was shoving it at him so he took it and held it with two hands all the way back to the car. Levi picked a beautiful solid black hen and grinned from ear to ear as he carried her to the car. They got in and put their chickens in their designated bucket and I got Isatu and Ivey out. Isatu wanted white and Ivey wanted black, but yet again the roughness of the chicken handler was alarming to the kids. They both shrieked back gasping at the terror of this bird yelling at them and the lady holding it in their face barking 'take it'? So I took the chickens and convinced Isatu to hold hers while I carried Ivey and her chicken. As we were turning to go the lady who was probably in her early twenties said something to me and I replied that I was coming back and getting 2 more. I have never seen anyone react in the way she did to a purchase I have made. She asked, " Two more?! Your coming back to buy two more?" I shook my head yes and held up two fingers and she jumped up shouting to her fellow venders "She said she's buying two more!" She jumped up and down and pumped her fist in the air laughing and yelling that over and over. All I could do was laugh and leave. So I took the two girls to the car and getting in was quite a scene. I put Ivey's bird in her bucket in front of her and it came flapping right back out. Ivey flipped out! She pressed herself against the seat as hard as she could and in quick repetition scream yelled at the bird. That set Isatu off and she tried to jump out of the car wearing this wide eyed frightened look and saying she didn't like fowl. Of course Albert and Levi were laughing hysterically and John was doing his usual hilarious commentary. He says 'uh huh' in a deep voice at really funny times. It is almost impossible to describe him but he can get Andrew and I laughing until we cry. So we got the girls in and I went back for the other two hens and we went home. Everyone was so excited to get the chickens to the coop and even Ivey and Isatu calmed down and enjoyed the scenes.
The chickens quickly established the pecking order and we gave all of them names. Albert's rooster, Poppet, came out on top and is currently ruling the roost. John's rooster is second and was named Lion-King of the Coop. There is a little uncertainty about the middle but we are pretty sure that my hen is last in pecking order because she got bossed quite a bit. I went to check on them before I locked up tonight and they were all huddled up together sleeping so I think they are going to get along just fine.


  1. I like the way you built the coop around the tree. Anxious to see it

  2. Yeah the coop looks great!! All the kids look so happy. LOVE IT

  3. And for the record I have never touched my chickens, let alone picked them up! You are all very brave. So did you get pullets or grown chickens? Ours were full grown bc I wanted eggs immediately. How many eggs are you getting?