We had been thinking about increasing the Coe flock this year, and then the sweetest little chicks spontaneously came into our lives.
One of our clients (little Macie in the pink) is a tweenage poultry farmer at home, and a talented magician on the pageant stage. Pulling a live chick from a hat is far more impressive than a toy one, but avian flu forbade her from bringing her Silkies from home. Her family ordered a pair of Easter Egger chicks to the host hotel, and post-pageant, we inherited these sweet girls.
They came to us as wee little Prettyboy and ShittyShittyBangBang, just 3 weeks old. We tried a handful of names before settling on Mimosa Bouvier and Nugget Beauregard Coe, IV… purposefully presumptuous poultry names. Our friends with flocks of their own warned us they would outgrow the fluffball stage astonishingly fast, so we attempted weekly photo shoots, proud parent style, with varying success.
They got their first taste of freedom when we put them down in the grass. They were still living under a heat lamp in a brooder, so the great outdoors overwhelmed them- they just stood there in shock!
Mimosa (on the left) has had her stinkeye down from an early age. She’s a wild one, that chick.
Once they sprouted their adult feathers, they seemed to grow up overnight! The more teenagery and independent the chicks have gotten, the more hysterical our outtakes from their weekly photo shoots have been.
Mimosa boycotted week twelve’s shoot altogether, flying out of my hands, scampering away, and generally misbehaving. She was far more interested in exploring the garden than posing. Nugget reveled in the undivided attention and preened away.
Once these girls were grown enough, we moved them out to their new cabin. I enjoy woodworking, but was too skeptical of my skills to build from scratch, so we ordered one from an artisan in Washington. It came flat packed in a giant box with some truly terrible pictogram directions, but we had it assembled in just a few hours.
They were utterly cofounded by the stairs at first, but slowly figured it out and have settled in a treat. They know where home is- they run straight in when startled (like by recent El Niño rains) and cozy up there often.
That said, they are literally clucking happy to be set free to explore each day. They are adorably codependent- Mimosa has a sqawky little meltdown and frantically catches up with Nugget if she strays too far. Nugget just puffs her blond feathers- she’s totally alpha chicken.
These pretty teenage girls are still a ways from their laying days- they’ve got some growing to do. But I’m beyond excited for our first eggs this spring- I can’t wait to see what color these girls lay! Their proper breed is Ameraucana, heritage hens that lay pastel eggs- often blue and aqua, but also green and pink. I feel like with coloring so different, their eggs should be as well, but we will see. In the meantime, they’re quite content scratching and pecking merrily away, dust bathing (the cutest thing!) for hours, inspecting under leaves and in branches and eating grass.
They are bird brained in the best possible way, and so funny to watch. We have taken to eating lunch outside with them most days we’re home and are kindof infatuated with their silliness- I snapchat them incessantly. I’m not sure I would have ever seen myself venturing into chicken keeping, but I’m settling into the chickenlady lifestyle quite nicely, feeding them all kinds of kitchen scraps and already petitioning David for one or two more chicks later in the year.
We’re learning as we go, and researching like mad along the way, but I’m pretty geeked out by this little adventure in urban homesteading. I’m looking forward to all it entails, and sharing the shenanigans along the way.