Ottford Chickens

About 9 weeks ago my brother, as well as some friends and I, all decided that we were going to buy some chickens. Provo allows their residents to own six, so we thought that was as good a number as any (except seven, because that would be not allowed). I was anxious to pick them up after we had talked about it, so one day I left work early to go pick up my friends and get a few chicks.

All of them had been sexed, except for one: Constantine. The name was my choice, and since I chose a male name, everyone started using male pronouns. A rooster would not be allowed in city limits, so ending up with one meant giving it away or turning it into chicken stock (which is not ever a viable option once you've named the poor thing).

Spoiler alert: Constantine ended up being a girl.

The remaining five chickens were named as follows: Amelia Bernard, USNavy, Pollo, Lucy Lightwing, and Ann Robertson. They are all younger than Constantine and much better behaved. Their first month and a half of life was spent in my bathtub (until they learned that hopping out was much more fun).

Chickens grow fast. Did you know that? My friends and my brother would go a couple days without seeing them, and would be shocked to see how much they had grown! They had so much personality as chicks, and you could already tell who was going to be a pain (Psst, it's Constantine).

At this point in the story I feel like I should inform you that these chickens are not dead. When one of the biggest posts in my blog is an ode to my former car (me and my Honda Fit are very happy now, incase you were wondering) you might begin to think that I only write about general melancholy.

Maybe that's true.

After their month birthday, I disappeared to Europe for three weeks. In that time, they turned into proper chickens.

We have an empty space that our landlords let us use. We put out a simple coop, and they flourished. They ate watermelon and cantaloupe, and were allowed to wander around our backyard space as much as they liked. They were little free range chickens, and they often greeted neighbors at their cars and perched in low branches.

Unfortunately, they also got in trouble.

There's a business next door, and I guess our chickens started pooping on their entryway carpet, and standing on their customers' cars (behavior that is still amazes us because we have never seen them do anything close to that). They finally had enough and called the police. I came home to two different notes, and called the police officer back. He told me our chickens were illegal on a rental property and that we would have to remove them in 48 hours, or face a mandatory court appearance.

I guess I do like writing goodbyes.

We're splitting the chickens up into three new homes. My mom and I cleared out some jungle in her backyard to place the coop, where Constantine and Ann Robertson now live.

After the move they seem confused. Their food and water dispensers have changed, and they're surrounded by brush. At this point I might be overly personifying, but I think they miss their four friends. They look so small by themselves.

Even though they're all getting new homes with people who will take very good care of them, I feel more heartbroken about breaking them up than is probably healthy.

Then again: if you've heard me talk about my chickens, you probably wouldn't be surprised.