Currently we have six lovely little birds (often referred to as “The Girls,” “Our Ladies,” and “The Tiny Dinosaurs”), all rescues in one way or another. We do not live on a farm, but in a modest city home in Youngstown – you don’t need that much room to have a few birds of your own, just a bit of planning.
While living in a small apartment in NYC, I decided I wanted chickens. At the time, chickens were absolutely not an option, but I was dreaming of a house with a garden and a yard and chickens scampering about. So I started reading about chickens, checking out urban farming blogs, and signing up for poultry newsletters. When I moved back to Ohio chickens were on the list, but it took a few years to build a coop and get ready to make the leap.
Our first four hens were rescued from a commercial laying facility. They were friendly red hens that laid brown eggs and could run like the dickens on the rare occasions they escaped. Sadly, rescued layers have a short lifespan and last year we were on the lookout for a few new girls. We ended up adopting four Araucana (a breed of chicken that lays light blue eggs) from a couple out in the country whose flock had been attacked by foxes. They weren’t willing to build a shelter strong enough to protect their remaining girls and we were happy to have them!
These new girls are more feisty than our first flock and will mob you if they think you have treats. “Back, back Tiny Dinosaurs!” I yell as I bring food and water to the coop (a handful of oatmeal tossed in the corner helps clear the way and keeps them from pecking at my shoes).
Recently we added two more chickens to the coup and our newest Ladies came to us in an odd way. Our friend Melanie phoned saying, “A flock of chickens just moved into our yard. Do you want them?” While her street is quiet and residential, she lives just a few blocks from a shopping mall and a very busy part of town. Needless to say, this was very odd. We ended up catching and bringing home two of these strays and we are introducing them to our flock. They are very mellow, red hens – much like our first girls.
As we look at what we want Great Conjunction Spiritual Center to become and evolve into, we know that there will always be room for a few chickens. These thrifty and charming Ladies bring a life and vibrancy to our little urban “farm” that I didn’t even know was missing.
Make sure you meet our Tiny Dinosaurs some day and enjoy the special energy they share!