I picked up the chickens yesterday and put together a temporary run for them this morning. Hopefully N. will be done with the chicken coop by next week, but their little ghetto housing is actually not so bad. They don't seem to mind. I borrowed a metal cage from the chicken farmer and put chicken wire around it to create a run for during the day.
I bought two chickens whom my daughter has named Janey and Alina, and the chicken farmer gave me the third chicken for free who my daughter named Woodia. Woodia has a cross beak so she can't peck, but she can eat if she can scoop up the food. I bought chicken mash instead of chicken pellets because it's easier for her to scoop up and once a day I need to make wet mash in a deep dish that she can scoop out of and sit with her to make sure she eats enough so that she'll stay healthy and keep growing.
When the coop is done it will be secure enough that they can come and go from the coop to the run 24/7, but in order to do that I need to bury the chicken wire far enough down the raccoons can't dig under it (that would be about 2 feet). I'm not going to do that with their temporary housing though so I'll have to send them in at night. They're not old enough to lay eggs yet which is find because they don't have any nesting boxes yet.
I was sitting out there with them this morning and thinking that I just can't see myself emotionally bonding with them the way I do with my dogs, cats and horses. Girlfriend and I have a very strong psychic link and I can feel what she's feeling when we're hanging out together. I like these chickens but I don't feel that emotional give and take that I feel with dogs and horses so I don't think I'm going to have to give up eating chicken. It's the same void of emotional connection I have with rabbits. Even though I don't eat rabbits because they are really cute and I can't see myself actually killing and skinning one. I have a rule that I will not eat anything that I wouldn't be willing to kill myself. I'm always horrified when someone complains that they can't cook a whole chicken because it looks too much like a chicken and it's gross! But they'll eat chicken Mcnuggets because "they're ok because they don't look like a chicken". If you can't face the reality of what you're eating, people, you should not be eating it! Our culture is so weird.
Here are some photos:
The temoporary chicken housing.
Janey the chicken
Alina the chicken
Woodia and her crooked beak.