If you had spoken to me five, ten, years ago I don’t think I would have ever said that my dream would be to live in a self sustainable cottage with chooks and goats and gardens galore. I can’t even think then what my dreams would have consisted of, maybe a mcmansion, three cars and holiday home? Who knows.
I am falling in love with my little chicklets. They are providing me with constant distraction from the negatives going on in the world and I can’t help but feeling a little bit of calm when I venture out to sit and watch them forage.
We have names for them now. WIth four chooks it was obvious that we would each get naming rights over one chook. Our trouble was that they all looked the same. Two weeks on I can instantly recognize two of them, and after a bit of watching the other two soon distinguish themselves.
eager hands. A little aggressive RR is certainly the alpha chook of the pack. Just look at his un-nerving gaze. Standing beind him is Dante’s chook Bumblebee. Named after his favourite transformer Bumblebee is a risk taker, its the only chook to make it to the second rung on the ramp, and jumps onto the shoe box to practice his stage dives.
When we asked Claudia what she would like to name her chook, she replied “Bok bok bok” you know, like the noise a chicken makes. While saying it, she also makes the little beak hand actions that are pure imitations of the little chicks. Bok Bok is missing a lot of feathers from her backside and was the most distinguishable chook when we first took them home.
The last, but in no way least chicken, is mine. Little Omelette. Omelette had the unfortunate experience of seeing the inside of Shilo the dogs jaws within half an hour of arriving at our home. I was holding her when Shilo came up and was not prepared for his lunge and quick reflexes as he grabbed her and practically swallowed her whole. Thankfully the feathers were an unfamiliar texture so he spat her out and I was able to rescue her straight away. After caring and nurturing her for a few hours she seemed to make a full recovery. Short lived I am afraid. Sadly, poor Omelette hasn’t developed as quickly as her kin, and I have concerns how she will go over the cold winter months. While the others have almost quadrupled in size, Omelette still remains not much bigger than when we got her. It’s a waiting game.
The chooks love any opportunity to free range around the garden. Due to their size the threats of prey (namely Shilo and the big scary Magpies lurking around) it can only be done under close supervision (I am a mother hen already). I enjoy nothing more than sitting with them in the sunshine, watching them basking in the warmth. These silkies are going to be spoilt I tell you!
Watching the kids with the chickens has been utterly delightful. Every evening Dante reminds us to tuck the chooks in bed (currently bringing them inside to stay in a box) and every afternoon they run out the back with me to check on how they went. Dante is learning to draw chooks – he tells me his chook has three legs, except its not a leg mum, its his penis. right. he loves being able to hold them and at every opportunity invites the neighbours kids around to come and play with his chickens!
Claudia loves the chickens too, she is still a little bit funny about holding them in her hands (which, with her death grip I am happy to stop her from it!) She loves wrapping them up in her dress or shirt and just holding them close to her. Any chance she can she wants to just sit in the chook pen and watch them. Like mother like daughter huh?
In one more week the chicks should be big enough to brave the outdoors at night. This will be interesting as we have heard of many people experiencing foxes and feral cats in the neighbourhood. I hope the chicken mansion we have built will deter any pesky pests and leave our little ones to their beauty sleep. And beauties they are, our little silkie quartet, always on hand to make us laugh, smile and enjoy the simplicities of life.