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Monday, August 19, 2013

Petros Farms: A Removal

In case you weren't aware, I have been raising chickens in my backyard for just about 2 years.  I built them a nice coop, took care of them, stepped in their crap, and in general made their lives the nicest ones I could.  Why chickens?  I'm not really sure, even now.  It seemed like a nice pet to have, and things that give you food by way of a single hole (called a "vent"), well, how can that be bad?  Plus, their cuteness factor is just off the charts ...

Our youngest birds, Rhoda and Buffy, after about 3 weeks.

Over those two years I learned a lot about what it takes to raise chickens to adulthood and beyond.  The man at the feed supply where I bought the chicks said that they really aren't that loud, and rarely make noise, save for when they lay an egg.  All the research I had done online had pretty much confirmed this, so I felt confident that I would get some birds that would just peck around the back yard and fire out eggs once a day while being quiet and nice things to own.

It's nice!

For some reason, I seemed to get the only loud bird in existence.  My girlfriend named her "Mrs. Butterworth", for reasons yet unknown, and this fucking bird loved to just yell all the time.  It was almost a scream, and it was unleashed for no particular reason.  Over time, it was almost as if Butter taught the other girls to yell at the Sun or whatever, and for those two years we always had at least two chickens that would start screaming at 5:30 - 6:30 each and every single morning.  And of course, we are good neighbors, so one of us (usually me) had to whip out of bed and run outside to quiet the chickens so as not to piss off anyone in the neighborhood.  Then, once the garden started to come in, the birds were all over that thing.  Eating everything in site, they are more like goats than birds.  First it was the lawn, then the cauliflower, then tomatoes, squash, flowers - name it, they ate it. Over two years we only got one complaint, which is nice, but all of this waking up early and being stressed out about angering others made us realize that our current living situation just did not facilitate owning chickens.  So after several months of talking about it, we decided that it was best to find a new home for our girls.
A rare group shot, taken on their last day at Petros Farms.

Enter: The Dineens.  Eve and Danny are in the top 6 people I know that are super positive and loving, and one minute with them makes you want to celebrate life.  And eat really well.  They have a large farm and were willing to take our four chickens to their place to lead a better life than in my decimated backyard.  15 acres and 20 other birds to hang with, plus other animals - it really was a no-brainer.

Buffy and Butter clear-cutting our plants. 

Don't think this was an easy decision for us.  For two years we have been dealing with these animals, and we have come to love them like ... well, like cats!  They each have their own little personality and they each like certain treats that the others don't.  It became less about having nice pets and more about just getting quality sleep.  They really interrupted our sleeping patterns a lot, and some mornings it was impossible to go back to sleep after trying to quiet them down at 6:30 in the AM.  Chickens are really unique animals, and now that they are gone, I am pretty sad about it.  Sadder than I thought I would be. Every time I went outside, they came running.  Every time I turned the hose on to water the plants, they were digging around looking for bugs.  Then they'd waddle-run to the next newly watered patch of dirt to look for more.  It was a great experience for us, and one I would do again, but not without having some property, first.  Chickens get under your skin and work into your soul.  They become part of your day and part of your family, but we just couldn't hang on to them any longer.

Me being the big girl that I am, I can't help but look out the window at our empty coop, wondering if it really was that bad having chickens and thinking of ways to get them back.  But knowing they are living a better life than they were here sort of brings me back to reality.  The romantic in me wants to drive up and take them back, to hell with the neighbors and our sleeping!  At least there's always cats to pet ...

Bye, chickens.  We'll miss you very much.  So long, and thanks for all the eggs ...

Everyone loaded into the Dineen's truck, bound for a real farm.