Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chicken Run: S.E. Portland Edition

So last night our friend Reshi called us, "I've caught a chicken. I don't really know what to do, can I bring it over?" But of course. We were watching 40 year old Virgin with our friend Feeon at the time, paused the movie and here comes Reshi and his roommate with a little barely-fledging chick.

The Wife immediately went into MacGyver mode, and gathered up the makings of a brooding box in about 5 minutes (check out the broken down aluminum arrow for a perch, rocking). Reshi, his roommate and Feeon were all duly impressed by the swift and capable chicken prowess of The Wife in this minor emergency. We got set up in the kitchen and set the little thing into the box. It immediately escaped, so we had to reinforce the lid.

I think its specialty is escape, thus the reason it was wandering around S.E. Portland at 10:00 on a Saturday night. Reshi's house will be combing the neighborhood and knocking on doors to find out who the owner is. If it were 2-5 chicklets, The Wife and I would gladly adopt and just include them in our flock. But, introducing a single chicken, especially a young one (this one would be in a brooding box until it was a good sized pullet) into an existing flock is really hard, and often ends up with the new chicken severely injured or even dead. Chickens are not kind to strangers. In our experience, the best way to introduce new chickens to an existing flock is put 3-5 in at a time, then they can run around together and have company while the flock gets used to the idea. It greatly mellows out the picking and bullying that inevitably happens.

So, we've got this cute-as-hell chicklet now. Pootie hasn't really figured out what is going on, tho he's taken to sleeping on the kitchen floor because of the intriguing smells and sounds emanating from the kitchen table. Sula could give a rip.

We are developing plans for if we can't find the original home for this little guy. We won't raise it alone, because it would be very lonely and sad and impossible (or immoral) to introduce to our little flock. So, one plan is that if a home isn't found we'll try to find chicks of the same age and create a new flock to be raised together and introduced together. We've lost a lot of chickens this year to both predation and to old age, so a flush of new blood is in order anyway. Just tricky to find chicks this time of year -- most folks brood in early spring so their pullets are good sized by now and laying around October.

We'll see.

Even though the inquisitiveness of this little chicken leads us to believe it is a little boy, we've named it Esmerelda to set a bit of intention toward the "hen" end of things -- in case we're *forced* to keep it. We can't keep roosters, as our neighbors would lynch us, and probably our roommate as well.

If you happen to live around 45th between S.E. Stark and Belmont, and have or know anyone who is keeping chicks, please email me so we can get this little person back ot its flock. A single chicken is a lonely chicken.

Enjoy your fledgling-free Sunday,



Anonymous said...
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Bpaul said...

Deleted spam comment, nothing to see here, move along.

CtheG said...

holy crap that little one is so adorable. I want to squeeze her. LOVE the make shift little fort you made for it. Jerry was very impressed with the use of the arrow. Plus I sort of got to see KT which is always a plus.

Micah said...

Who were you watching a movie with? An avatar? Amazing

Very cute chick btw.

Bpaul said...

I was watching the movie with a pseudonym, a nom-de-internet -- a privacy insurance device.