Years ago I contacted the City to ask about zoning re: chickens, and I got the official reply that I’m zoned for up to ten chickens or ten rabbits. Why would I want rabbits? But then whenever I’d think about getting chickens I’d chicken-out because it all seemed so daunting. Just like with beekeeping, where I started out knowing nothing and being scared crapless of them, I know nothing about chickens and fear them, too.
Enter Calvin the Millennial Basement Tenant. It turns out he’s an expert in chickens as he grew up on a farm and he tended to them. He was very keen on the whole idea, so I thought wow I’d be stupid not to strike while I have him here to help. Though when I said to Luke I wonder how long Calvin’s going to live here, he said “oh, he’s a millennial so probably about 20 years.”
My friend Scott came over and as usual when you have someone look with a fresh eye it can really help. I had wanted to convert the old playhouse into a coop, but then he looked at the solid little shed at the top of my driveway and said why not just use that? It’s already nicely made, and I did just have it re-roofed last year by Carl and all I do is store junk in there.
So now Calvin’s going to convert that shed, and he’s insulating it right now and has bought some wire for a fence to prevent the dogs from menacing the chickens. I worry about George the cat who’s brought a Stellar’s Jay into the house before, so he could have the strength to beat up a chicken.
I wanted to get those adorable black and white striped hens, however couldn’t find any available so have bought four white chickens which I believe are sussex. The standard red/orange ones are leghorns. I told the nice man I bought them from I’ll get them at Labour Day and that gives us lots of time to do the shed. Notice the word ‘us’ which always means only Calvin.
“We” also need to paint the shed, and will do it like a mini barn, red and white. I’ll then have to make a nice sign for the door with these dear birds’ names on them: Kate, Megan, Charlotte and Lily. They’re to be treated like royalty, at least until the first bobcat or racoon gets peckish.
The chickens have made me think of the bees, so I went onto Okanagan Beekeeping’s website and see the prices are now $275 for a queen and her brood. It used to be $175 but then everything’s gone up. I’ll have to order this fall and then pick them up in the spring. Calvin said chickens can be brought home on the back seat in a cardboard box which sounds somewhat more relaxing than driving the bees home in the trunk. I make it a quick drive from the bee place to here.
I’ll be ready for the end of the world: eggs, honey, vegetables, a bit of fruit. The well. I guess by now you think I’m some kind of a crazy survivalist, but I’m not, I’m just nutty.
Which could be a hereditary trait as my nearly blind 97-year-old mom phoned the other day to say she really didn’t like the old stereo in the living room, and when I come we have to look at that corner and try to think of what piece of furniture to buy. Most people at that age are in their dotage, but nah-ah, not mom. She’s a good example of continuing to do things in the face of others going, are you nuts?