Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who Are You Calling Chicken?

Adorable photo courtesy of the We Like It Wild post on Design*Sponge.

Sometimes The Universe tells me things. This week, it is telling me to keep chickens. Lest you believe I have meandered into a mental state similar to that of many Haight-Ashbury "residents," I will explain.

First, it was last week’s charming post by the ‘We Like It Wild/Studio Choo’ girls on Design*Sponge with a creative Easter decoration idea that I unabashedly cribbed for my table settings. They were inspired to create these tiny little arrangements after a visit with a woman who keeps chickens in nearby Marin County. Thus, it begins.
Photo from the Design*Sponge post

Second, it was strolling through the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market with Wilbat looking for brown eggs to replicate the goodness above and being bowled over by the price of a half dozen organic eggs. They were $4 for 6 little old eggs and I thought Will was going to flip out (and this was when he thought I was buying them for consumption – imagine when I told him my real plans!).

Third, it was checking out the Blogger feed this morning and seeing that Ashley English of ‘Small Measures’ has a book coming out on keeping chickens. Do I need it? No. Not only do I not have an outdoor space in which to keep a hen, I’m pretty sure it would be a serious violation of numerous zoning laws. Do I want it? Hell, yes. I would not mind getting her guide to home canning, either.

Photo from Ashley's post on her new books - check it out here!

Clearly, The Universe’s message to me is quite obvious. Though, I know what you’re thinking: "Oh, Nicole. Dear silly Nicole with your odd plans … You believe you want a chicken to lay you fresh eggs every morning and name Bess or Ruth or something classically 1950’s sounding, but be reasonable. You’d most certainly find yourself in over your head with the care and maintenance of a clucky hen." And perhaps you’d be correct. But perhaps you would be surprised to know that I have some chicken-raising experience, or at least more than your average bear. What might not surprise you would be to hear that when I owned the aforementioned chickens, I owned ten. Really, though, when a little girl visits the Fisco in Chico and stands before a giant aluminum basin loaded with adorable yellow chicks peeping away and scrambling around and over each other for the prime heat lamp spot, can she be expected to take less than ten? As can be expected, ten chicks were darling, ten teenage chickens were a bit precocious, and ten grown chickens (particularly those that turned out to be roosters) were a bit much. Luckily, my Dad found them new homes on a local chicken farm.

The moral of this little peep (pun intended) into my childhood is to reveal that I both have chicken-related experience and have learned my lesson about reasonable quantities. Regardless of that important lesson, I believe I will find myself Rhode Island Red-less, Hippy-Chicken-less, and otherwise hen-less for quite some time. Thus, I will leave you with some lyrics from my apparent anthem, Feist’s "Mushaboom."

Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups oh
But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay…

1 comment:

brooke said...

Ah yes, I'm quite familiar with this particular temptation. And the kicker...I have a backyard! I just figure I need to complete about 27 other house/yard projects before I take on the care of yet another living being (or 2 or 3). FYI though--Lindsey Dohl and her hubby keep chickens in Oakland. He's quite the gardener etc. They'll be my #1 resource when the time comes. (He's already picked out the perfect hen house corner in our backyard.) :)