Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Of Chickens and Dogs

A little behind in my posting….

In May we took the plunge and welcomed not one, but two broods of little chicks (4 and then two weeks later 6 more) into our home.  I say, “our home” because as is the case with any animal we welcome in, they end up being a permanent fixture within our home.  Picture 10 tiny chickens running to and fro, fluttering around as if their soft, downy feathers could sustain flight.  Imagine the family of people, dogs, cats, and chickens all living in harmony under one roof.  Imagine the chaos….can you see it???

Wait a minute….is this for real….who lives like this???  Uhhmmm….isn’t that how it’s done??  We’ve never raised chickens (okay, Tony’s dad had a chicken or two in the backyard when he was young.)  Don’t they get cold??  What do they like to lie-down on??  Do you just throw food around for them…what about grit….can they eat lettuce…what about corn??  How old do they have to be before they can go outside….will they run away…should we build a coop or buy one…when do they start laying eggs??  Wait…what???  These little ladies (and maybe gentlemen) poop….ALOT!!

Benedict, Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro

Benedict, Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro

Merlot, Sangria, Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne, and Gretchen

Merlot, Sangria, Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne, and Gretchen

So we (no…let’s be more specific) I had a lot of questions.  I saw little yellow Buff Orpington chicks, and tiny rust colored Rhode Island Red chicks looking up at me, and my heart melted.  All of a sudden they were dependent on us to feed, water, clean, protect, and provide shelter….how could your heart not melt? Remember, I’m a city girl gone to the country.  You eat things from the grocery store, NOT that you raise from “babyhood.”  To me, these little girls (and guys?) are pets with benefits, namely fresh eggs.  Tony hauntingly looks at me, blinking kindly and says, “We won’t touch the original 4, the rest lay eggs for awhile then into the pot.”  I laugh, and talk about how cute they are, brushing his cute, nonsensical comments aside as a  little blonde chick falls asleep in the palm of my hand.  So….into the house they came….well, that is….under the same roof.  Okay….into the garage within a make-shift brooder made from a  small white cabinet.

Brooder #1

As they grew, I transformed a, yet unfinished, dog bath that Tony was building….it has been PERFECT for that “in-between”  stage.

The chicks grew fast, and needed more space.

The chicks grew fast, and needed more space.

So, where do the dogs come in???  I think it is probably more appropriate to say, “DOG.”  One big, Penni dog who thinks she is Mommy to this little brood of chick-a-dees.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are 3 really curious doggies at the farm (can I legitimately say, “farm” now that we have chickens??), and they are just not sure what these fluffy peepers really are.  However, the big, Penni dog has set the premise that NO ONE messes with “HER” puppy-chicks…Karli and Tucker are listening.  After a couple of scuffles over territorial rights surrounding the perimeter of the brooders…the big, Penni dog keeps close track of what her brooder babies are doing.  The real question is….is she protective over them because they are her “babies” or because they are future meals….hhhhmmmmm.

What's in There?

Whew!...It's much easier keeping track of everyone now that they are all in one place.

It’s much easier keeping track of everyone now that they are all in one place.

Are You My Mother??

Are You My Mother??

Usually separated by a short wall, we bring them together a little bit each day.

Usually separated by a short wall, we bring them together a little bit each day.

Stay tuned…more adventures to come…..!!!

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Our French Oasis


House by the water.

From blank block to new home in Mandurah, Western Australia.

Chantel Mickaela


A Bright Ray of Hope

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