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There’s nothing wrong with being a crazy chicken lady

For many years now, I have been trying to talk my husband in to building me a chicken coop. I have always lived in the country, even as a child, although farming was nothing I had ever experienced.

My grandfather had cattle on the farm and I remember as a small girl going out with him to feed but as I got older I lost interest.

My grandmother did have a few chickens for a short time but I only remember going with her maybe once to feed and gather eggs. The idea of me wanting a chicken coop and to raise chickens was actually hilarious to my family.

Finally this summer I convinced my husband we needed a few chickens. I persuaded him with talks of egg prices, diseases you could get from eggs and even threw in the price of chicken. I could not believe it when he said “OK.” We then spent a few days building a coop and a fenced-in area for the chickens.

We were lucky enough to have most the materials to build except for the chicken wire. You should have seen us building this coop.

We had no plans just what he was seeing in his head and of course what I was seeing in my head and neither of us were seeing the same thing. We argued from sun-up to sun-down building this coop. We were eaten up by bug bites from the long nights and cuts and scrapes from the chicken wire, but we finished it and I love it.

Now that the coop was ready, I needed chickens. I had no clue what to feed them or even how to raise them. I didn’t even have a clue where I was going to get chickens. Research and homework under my belt, I discovered what I needed to know and bought my first pair of hens two days later.

I actually sat out and watched those hens for most of my Saturday afternoon — I just couldn’t walk away. The way they interacted with each other, the curiosity in them as they explored and looked over their new surroundings, kept me captivated. As night drew close, these two hens were frantically looking for shelter and a place to roost. I kept telling them “Go in the coop! Go in the coop!”

Finally they began to walk up the ladder into the coop but once there just looked their head in and came out. I was asking Robert, what I did wrong and why they don’t like their new home. I asked him if he thought it was too dark for them.

He rolled his eyes at me and went to get the flashlight and he shines it into the coop. The hens notice the light and follow it. They go into the coop and fly onto the roost.

The next morning I head straight for the chicken coop and I decided to name the hens Popeye and KFC. I also realized these two were lonely and needed friends. By the end of the day I had purchased four more young hens, which I named Zaxby, Abner, Churches and Dodges. I again sat outside watching these chicks and wasted most of my day.

It has been three months since I started my chicken farming and I have added another hen and a rooster to the mix. I was a little worried when we got the rooster because he would not crow. I was scared I had bought another hen but after a few weeks he began to crow and now he crows and crows and crows. No matter the time of day he crows.

These chickens have become a happy part of my life. My children laugh and say I am having a mid-life crisis and it’s sad that I have more photos of my chickens on my phone than of them.

I just laugh. They can call me the crazy chicken lady if they want to. If it is a mid-life crisis it’s a cheaper one than most have so I am OK with that.

Lisa Coleman is with the Salvation Army and can be reached at Lisa_Coleman@uss.salvationarmy.org.