The end of school is near. I can hear the summer calling. No more getting up at 5:30 to catch the 6:41 AM bus. The kids are excited but busy. Field Day. Party Day. Movie Day. Lots of testing and more testing. One of the last things for a fifth grader to do each year is decide what kind of classes they want to take as they rise to the next grade. One night over supper we had the serious discussion of which would be the youngest’s first choice, his second choice and so forth for his first year as a Middle Schooler.
At the same time we are preparing the Senior for her final days as a High Schooler. Mainly each morning I would encourage her to go on to school because she really did not need to fail out at this late date. “Awweee mom. We aren’t doing anything and I am just so tired of going!” I agreed with her as I pushed her out the door each morning.
And if this isn’t enough we have the new chickens which came in the mail. They have to be watched, heated, and tended to while attending all of the end of school events. For some quirky reason I received three extra chicks in the box which was not part of our master plan of having backyard chickens.
My new Mother’s Day chicken coop recommends 8-10 chickens at the most. I ordered fifteen because that is a minimum order. They sent two extra Rhode Island Reds and one “exotic” bird. So, not only did I have too many birds, they were not sexed either. Meaning that I received a mix of hens and roosters.
The master plan was that we would go ahead and get the fifteen mixed chicks knowing that most of the time two or three did not make it past a few days. That would help a little bit. And then we would give away any roosters because we were worried about the neighbors. That should get us down to the recommended 8-10 hens.
However, every single one of the chicks survived the shipping so I had eighteen peeping, hopping, fluttering chickens. Unfortunately, one got caught under the watering station and died. Another was inadvertently dropped and suffered a concussion until moving on to chick heaven. And one morning we found one dead in the box. Not sure why but dead none the less. So, down to the original fifteen and hoping that the ones that died were the roosters.
I have nothing against roosters. In fact, I absolutely love to hear them crow but I am afraid that our neighbors might not like that as much as I do. I love listening to a good flock. The hens all chatter and cluck while the ol rooster tosses his head back and lets out his croaky cock-a-doodle-do.
However, with these last few days of school I am not so worried about the roosters as I originally was. One sunny afternoon, out past the deck, at the new chicken coop, I am chattering with the flock when I hear a loud “SPlllaaaatttt” coming from inside the house. I listen for a moment and decide that all is well.
I return to the chickens and secure them in their pen when I hear “Sppplluuuuttt!” This time the noise is right behind me. I turn to see my new Master Trombonist OUT ON THE DECK blasting his new horn as loud as he can. He giggles between blasts. Yikes! What will the neighbors think?
“Hey Mom! I can really blow this thing!”
I raise my eyebrows and give him a thumbs up. “Spppllllasaaatt” He dies laughing and blows even harder.
Am now rethinking the chicken count as I doubt that the neighbors will even notice the rooster’s crow over the ardent tones of a newly minted trombonist.