Thursday, January 12, 2012

Two Chicks

Juju here.

On the first Saturday of every month a chicken swap is held in Denver. Even though we were having a party and we had guests over from out of town, my chicken obsessed mom decided to go. (In her defense, she almost never gets Saturdays off, and I had been to it before with my dad when we bought Sonja & Heather II)

I decided to tag along. Our urban cousin from MN was visiting and she came also.

It was small and outdoor. There were ducks, quail, turkeys, rabbits, pygmy goats, pigeons, and of course, chickens. Earthdog Denver, who sponsored the event in their parking lot, was next to the swap, so the background noise was mostly barks. I wandered around petting goats and rabbits. My mom lingers at groups . "No more chickens" and "Maybe goats in two years" I hear her mutter, as she makes her way through the parking lot.

In the back corner there is a trailer containing baby pygmy goat. I look inside briefly, not sure if I want to pet one. Next to the trailer is a car with chickens and pigeons in its open hatch. A small box sits between a cat carrier and a crate on the ground with hesitant peeps coming from it. I watch as the woman displaying her various adult birds moves the carrier and opens the box. She hands a small ball of fluff to a small girl there with her mom. IT'S A BABY CHICK! She is letting people hold and pet the chicks in the box. I walk over and she gently takes the chick the little girl offered back and hands me a tiny Naked Neck.

I look in the box. Two more chicks. She tells me one, a Lakenvelder, has already been sold. The Naked Neck I am holding and a New Hampshire Red remain.

I just got my allowance, and the chicks were in my budget. I look over at my mom, she is looking at turkeys and doesn't notice me.

I look at the chicks again.

I look at my mom.

I pet the Naked Neck again. I miss Daffodil & Mina.

I hand the chick back and run to my mom. My words slur.

She blinks. "You want baby chicks?"

I nod quickly, biting my lip. What if she says no. . .What if she says yes???

"They would be your responsibility"

I nod, my eyes getting wider. She looks over at the Subaru I just ran from.

"They may end up roosters, you know"

I don't say anything. Just continue to bite my lip.

"It is your money - if you want to spend it on more chickens, it is up to you"

She walked back with me and I purchased the little birds (box included!) While mom and our cousin were in the Denver Urban Homesteading market I sat inside the sun warmed van, talking to my new birds.

We barely had time to put them under a light in a 5-gallon bucket (with water) before my birthday party started.

Before I got to bed that night, the chicks had a decent setup and are safe in the basement. They are unnamed, but here is a little bit about them:

The New Hampshire Red is the bigger of the two and often uses her wings. She is honey colored and very soft.

The Naked Neck is small and is very (to the power of, well, 5,462,701.9261) loud. She has a black streak on her back, unlike the New Hampshire Red. She is a jumper.

They often snuggle.

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