Rojo was my rooster. I didn't realize it then, but it was a bit unusual for a rooster to follow a youngster around the ranch. He lived for a few years, and always seemed to remember me when I returned for the summer. Fortunately, I never learned if he eventually became dinner.
Portland, like many urban cities has a love affair with chickens. Unfortunately, people don't realize that along with the upside of wonderful fresh eggs, the required daily maintenance and care can be quite challenging. In addition, chickens can be loud and irritating to neighbors. Healthy chickens may lay eggs up to seven years – but that is a lucky average, and they can live as long as 20 years!! That's quite a commitment.
I live in the country and actually have the perfect set up for them. However, I really didn’t want the responsibility of a coop.... especially in the Oregon rain. To put it bluntly, I’m not certain I can visualize myself going out twice a day in the pouring rain to clean up chicken poop! So... no chickens.
|Clockwise from top: Eggwina, Hennifer Lopez, Ethel & Lucy|
Are they laying eggs? ...you ask. Uh... no, not really. I’m happy if I get one a day. The chicken whisperer says it’s just too darn hot these days, so we shall see when the rains start. In the meantime they delight me daily with their antics. Ethel has totally bonded with me and will sit on my lap. If she sees me inside the house, she pecks on the glass door wanting attention.
The dogs were curious, but now guard them. Fritz, the cat, thinks he’s a mighty bird hunter. He will stealthily approach, make a quick dash and when they screech, it scares the crap out of him and he runs the other way. Daily entertainment at the cottage!
We shall see how the winter goes. I tell myself that hiking to the coop is good exercise. I am too unsteady on my feet and really need a sturdy handrail along the trail. And my dang wrist can’t even open a jar of peanut butter let alone carry a full bucket of water. So I’m trying to find a handyman to install a watering system that won’t freeze and is easy for me to operate, and who can also put up a handrail. A little easier said than done. So those are my main winter concerns for the girls, from my current chicken to-do list.
Other than that...what could be better than free chickens???