I may not have mentioned it before, but I have a few pet chickens. And one of them died today. Her name was Olive; I bought her and two other chicks (Bodhi and Myrtle) when they were just one day old at a local feed store. It was a long and hard battle to even get them – I had to ultimately convince my dad to keep them on his property in a sort of shared custody arrangement. We rent and live in the city and currently the powers that be in Jacksonville would rather you have a bunch of barking dogs than some really funny egg-producing feathered friends. (Go to www.hensinjax.com to find out more about this.) Since my dad lives on the more rural West Side right next to a dairy farm, we figured he could get away with it more easily. And so I brought them home and kept them in a card board box with a heat lamp for the first four weeks of their life, then moved them to the coop at dad’s after that.
Even at just a week old, Olive (named after a tree, like her sisters) set herself apart from the others. She was just more spunky, daring, and plain old smart. I called her names like Houdini and Evil Knievel because I was always having to build a bigger chicken house to keep her contained. She was always the first to jump into my hand as a baby chick and was always the first one to come blazing out of the coop each morning as an adult, ready to get her worm search on. My dad said she had an attitude problem and made fun of her torpedo shaped eggs that were pointed on both ends, but she had a special place in my heart right from the start.
If you are interested in getting chickens as pets, http://www.backyardchickens.com is a great information resource to get you started. You won’t be sorry – my “girls” provide me with laughs, endless entertainment, companionship, and really yummy nutritious eggs every day. Rest in peace, Olive. I hope you have all the bread your heart desires in Chicky Heaven.