This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Working our angles

Scene: Lunchtime, Armstrong sitting to my left, Tyrant sitting to my right. Somehow the topic of chickens comes up, maybe because we’re eating a chicken salad. Or maybe because I’ve been talking about nothing else since I found out we could raise our own in the backyard. I would name them after my personal heroes: this hen is Thom Yorke. And this one is Ramona Quimby. And that fancy one over there is The Avon World Sales Leader.

I say to Armstrong, you know, most people support the idea of chickens. I’ve heard a few horror stories, but the majority of the feedback has been overwhelmingly in favor of the idea. And the Internet always knows what it’s talking about. You can trust that the Internet would not lie to us about chickens. If you do a Snopes search on chickens, turns out THEY ARE REAL.

Armstrong doesn’t even flinch. He takes another bite of his salad, swallows, and then says, nope. We’re not getting chickens. In fact, before we ever get chickens he’d string himself up by his nipples with a set of rusty nails and fishing wire and dangle from a pole over a den of angry Republicans.

Tyrant, having grown up on a farm in Southern California, reaches across me and my plate, waves his arm in front of Armstrong and says, “But I know chickens like the back of my hand. Lovely creatures, they are.”

Have I mentioned I recently gave him a raise?

This time Armstrong clenches his jaw. He’s not budging. He won’t even say anything. At this point Tyrant has gotten up from the table and is throwing something away when he catches my glance and winks at me.

“Jon,” he starts, “what if some anonymous person sent Heather some chicks in the mail? What would you do then?”

“EXACTLY!” I scream. “You couldn’t just send them back! They’d die! And you couldn’t just abandon them! They’d be homeless and alone! We’d HAVE to raise the chickens then!”

“Oh, we’d raise the chickens, alright,” Armstrong says. “After I hire a private investigator, find out exactly who sent those chicks, and then show up at their house and punch them in the groin.”

Any takers?

  • Big Gay Sam

    I’ve raised chickens. I spent my entire childhood gathering eggs/feeding/watering/cleaning coops/laying out oyster shell/burying dead carcasses and cursing the day God created a chicken… or was it an egg? Only God and His hairdresser know which came first.

    Chickens are nasty, stupid, evil little creatures that will peck each other to death given half a chance. They are disease carrying, mite infested feather dusters with sphincters.

    DON’T DO IT HEATHER!

  • oncogeneheaven

    Oh PUHLEEZE. I have 16 hens. They don;t stink if you change the shavings. The eggs rock. THey’re fun to watch.
    How’d you get so many pussies following you? “Oo, chickens flutter! They go poo-poo! You have kids two dogs and a husband and a house and a business? You’ll never do it!”
    Muthereffers, this country was BUILT on the backs of women with 10 kids, a farm with shitloads of animals, drunken husbands, and home businesses.
    A few chickens are nothing. Geez.
    If you honestly, seriously, want chickens, check out backyardchickens.com
    I love em. And I work, have a farm, have two kids, AND I’M PREGNANT and work fulltime, and have dogs and horses and a goat herd. And we do AWESOME.

  • Scott-5×5

    I cannot believe you goaded the internet to send you chickens! Are you crazy? You now will definitely get chickens! And Jon knows it too. If it happens it will make for some great reading here on your site, but there sure are a lot of people making some really good arguments against them.

    Just can’t wait to see what happens next…

    Scott

  • mac_runs

    What’s with all the comments that chickens stick? Heather just posted about dog poop, which last time I had a dog I sure noticed it was stinky. Poop stinks. Manage the chicken poop and you’ll be fine.

    Direct Jon to the Eglu site. The design on those might make him willing to get a coop. Then who has a coop and no chickens! We have a cube and it is a snap to clean and the chickens seem pretty happy. $$$ though.

  • eastcoaster

    so…my 12 year old heard an awful sound early yesterday morning and we discovered later in the day that one of our chickens was beheaded and gutted…by something that CHEWED ITS WAY into our coop….

    This chicken experiment is nearly over…Im not a fan…

  • laurelquint

    I have chickens in downtown Denver. I am an interior designer so I am a bit fancy and picky about stuff inside and out, I say this only so you know I am not living on a farm in Nebraska where these things are the norm. I think people would be surprised to see chickens in our backyard. I live in a nice home and have three kids and my husband had them growing up and wanted them. They are awesome! Go to mypetchicken.com. They have a little quiz there where you can choose whether they need to be winter hardy, good with kids, and how you want them to lay their eggs (meaning a lot or a little). They will also make sure you get only hens, AND have them inoculated for weird chicken diseases that I care to know nothing about. They end up being about $4.00 per chick and will send as few as 3 via US Post. It was almost worth the order to see the post office workers freak out over the peeping package! My kids are very attached to their chickens, we have 6 and they have learned to take care of them, great teaching tool! Although we are downtown we have to be aware of coyotes and such so we always put them in the coop at night locked up tight. They roam the yard during the day and have worm wars and take dust baths etc.. It is really calming to hang out with them after a bad day. The only things that are not my favorites are that the dogs eat the poop (which is a very good fertilizer for the grass and garden etc.), I call these chicken pops, the cleaning of the coop which Emmett does, and they can be noisy when they want to get out of their pen and roam. If you keep the coop relatively clean (we do it 5 times a year) they are not smelly at all. We have had to fence off our garden so they don’t eat all our veggies, but I don’t mind, it was a great reason to make a cute fence. The eggs they lay are beyond amazing and I love bringing them to dinner parties etc. as a hostess gift. People love it! They lay more than we can eat so it is fun to share them. I hope you get them, I am happy to tell you anything else you may want to know! Good luck on your quest! Laurel Quint

  • virtualcarly

    Just saw this on Treehugger regarding raising chickens! I still think raising chickens would be AWESOME, but organic feed might be a good plan in light of this article:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/high_levels_of_arsenic_found_in_childrens_urine.php