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Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

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Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 5:47 pm

As I have mentioned, I retired almost two years ago and moved to the country just last January. With so much time on my hands I kept myself busy during the winter months designing and fabricating a portable chicken coop for our special family. Chickens! We wanted to raise chickens. Our children left our nest a few years ago and their absence was taking an uneasy toll.




The sky was completely overcast and ominous looking. We debated for a few moments as to whether or not we should make the trip. I had spent months with the preparations. I cleared a little more than 1/3rd of an acre of underbrush from the established pines to accommodate my chicken tractor and run. I designed my chicken tractor with a coop and an integrated one-hundred sixty sq. ft. run out of light gauge steel. The 80 sq. ft. coop actually sits atop the 160 sq. ft. run. It was time to put it to the test. My argument for going on such a miserable day was simple: The land had been prepped and we needed our chickens. After all, breakfast was only 18 hours away. She who must be obeyed rolled her eyes but did, as I knew she would, agree to accompany me on the trip.
 




The windshield wipers were working at their maximum as I strained my eyes to negotiate the twists and curves of an old mountain road leading to a little known hatchery in the mountains of North Georgia. We were on our way to pick up our first layers for the coop I spent months designing and building.





Our instructions were simple: we were to turn left off the parkway onto Chickadee Lane and travel a very short distance until the road ended. The odometer informed me that it had been 25 miles since our left turn and our GPS system had no clue as to where we were.
 



The instructions had to be wrong. I was about to turn around when we pierced the curtain of rain and immediately found ourselves on a gorgeous mountain top with the sun completely un-obstructed. A small hobble was less than 100 yards away. The brilliant colors surrounding us made everything look magical. Had we spotted Julie Andrews twirling through the meadow it would not have come as a surprise.



Greeting us was a crooked little man with a crooked little cane and a crooked little cat circling about his feet.





My wife, was in awe as she explained to the little man that our children are grown, on their own and it was our desire to start a new but very special family.



With a twinkle in his eye: “Special, I can do”, was his reply. Magically appearing out of nowhere he presented us with five incredible hens





stating that one special hen was an Easter Egger. Being new to chickenry we had no idea what that meant but figured we’d soon learn. We drove off with our fowl brood cackling along the way. I couldn’t help but notice that Chick-a-dee lane was indeed a very short drive back to the parkway with no indication of the previous storm. Not even a puddle.




When we arrived home we began unloading. The hens followed in single file as we made our way to their new coop. I took special care when I enclosed their home with heavy wire to discourage raptors, predators and other villains of the night. They appeared at ease as one by one they took up residence in their nest boxes.



Our Easter Egger was the first to deliver an oblong piece of joy. We have seen white eggs and brown eggs in the stores but never a blue egg yet there it was with yellow and pink poke-a-dots covering the shell. The color was beautiful and oh so special. This was our first egg and it seemed only fitting that this one should be allowed to hatch. While the rest of our brood busied themselves supplying breakfast, ingredients for cakes, dough and other wonderful treats we kept a watchful eye over our special little egg.




It seemed like an eternity but alas weeks later we noticed some slight movement and a tiny pecking noise coming from the little blue egg. The cracks in the shell began to widen. The two of us watched as the miracle of life unfolded before us. My mind raced back to the arrival of our first born more than thirty years ago. The feeling was identical only this time the beast that walks upright was not cursing, spitting venom and wishing me dead. We held each other closely enveloped within an atmosphere of pure joy



It was Easter Sunday as we stared in awe at our first hatchling: it was indeed a miracle. With our jaws slightly agape we marveled at the new hatchling. It was a curious looking little thing with feathers as soft as fur. The comb was split and oddly enough, resembled ears. I was at a loss as to what we should call him.
 









With a slight squeeze of my hand my wife looked at me lovingly and said just a single word: “Cadbury“. A name had been chosen and who was I to argue with such a fitting handle. I left for my shop to build a special little house for Cadbury.
 



I can’t quite put my finger on my reasoning but it really wouldn’t surprise me if Cadbury were to mysteriously disappear on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. That’s really not important to this story but another peculiar thing is that although we have made several attempts, we have been unable to find Chickadee Lane again. Well, it was stormy and difficult to see. Anyway, every spring we just plan to give thanks to the crooked little man from that beautiful mountain top for now we do have a very special family in our new home.
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Re: Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

Post  sanderson on 5/29/2015, 8:48 pm

The third brother, Scruffy Grimm.

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O' sagacious one

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 9:04 pm

@sanderson wrote:The third brother, Scruffy Grimm.

McDonell; I am not. But I do enjoy spinning a yarn or two regarding my travels.
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Re: Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/30/2015, 8:17 am

LOL!  What a great story, Scruffy!  Thank you!!
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Re: Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

Post  trolleydriver on 5/30/2015, 10:24 am

Thanks for the wonderful story. Looking forward to more!
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My mind does wander

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/30/2015, 11:24 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:LOL!  What a great story, Scruffy!  Thank you!!


I am learning that putting a garden in is a lot, lot, lot of work. Each morning I take two or three of the kids (dogs) out with me to start my daily tasks. The other day we were adding the finishing touches to the chicken run and tractor.

It was Hot-Shot that suggested I write a little story about what we were doing. The truth is: we don’t have our first chicken yet but we had a lot of fun putting the story together as we built the chicken tractor. I am taking pictures and I will present everything in several posts as we move along. We are glad you enjoyed the little story
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Re: Scruffy's New Chicken Herd

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/30/2015, 11:46 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Thanks for the wonderful story. Looking forward to more!


You're quite welcomed.



The kids and I enjoy our new garden project. Before I retired I never had so much time to spend with them. As they scamper about hiding my tools my minds drifts away from reality for a moment or so and some really weird stories begin to take form. We enjoy ourselves and are happy to share.
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