The Geriatric Chicken Condo

OK, so I admit it, I have a chicken addiction! Who wouldn’t? They are completely adorable. Have you ever touched cashmere? Guess what? Chickens are even better. They are the softest thing you will ever touch. And even more importantly, once you’ve tasted a farm fresh egg, you will never purchase eggs from the grocery store again. Never!  Our girls spend their days roaming the farm, scratching the rich soil, and uncovering the most amazing treats. Our chickens are happy. They are free. Free to do what chickens do best.

Now each year, when the seed catalogs start to arrive and the winds slowly change , I get an itch. Something incredible starts to stir inside me. Tiny little chirping voices fill my thoughts and fluffy little bodies embrace my heart. Baby chicks! I must have them all! 

Indigo Acres was established in 2014. We started with 12 chickens… Who needs more than 12 chickens? Realistically, 12 chickens would’ve been the perfect number for our small farm. But, like I said, I have an addiction. We are now proud Mamas to 84 beautiful birds, ranging from heritage breeds, to the adorable silkies, polish and bantams. And yes, many of them have names. (Pictured above are Tico, Dartha and Snape)

Out of our original flock of 12, sadly, only two remain. Tico, a feisty Rhode Island Red, still makes her voice heard and is first in line for meal worms, when the treat bucket arrives. Our last Golden Comet, of course, named “Comet”, is full of spunk! Even with her slight limp, she continues to lead the flock to this day. Comet is the first one to sneak into the barn, determined to eat just one morsel of cat food, whenever possible. Often, when we tuck the girls in at night, we notice Comet is missing. Once again, she has happily escaped to her original hen-house, stowing away with the new girls over night.  This brings me to the topic of our latest building project, “The Geriatric Chicken Condo”.

As I’ve entered this beautiful world of farming, I have come to realize that many chickens have a lifespan of a year or so and not by choice.  A chicken’s strongest laying time is during her first few years of life. After these years of laying bliss, blessing us with a plethora of green, blue and brown eggs, the girls slow down, laying 2 to 3 eggs a week.  Eventually, they will cease laying completely. I have been amazed by the number of people who have asked,”Why don’t you cull your layers?”. My response, usually with my eyeballs bugging out of my head, “Are you kidding me?”.  So, as we expanded our chicken collection, we felt that the mature girls needed a retirement home.  A place they could Just Be. Thus, the building of “The Geriatric Chicken Condo” became the projct of 2016.

I understand the philosophy that animals need to have a purpose. I also understand that there is the issue of cost, to take into consideration, when raising animals. But, at Indigo Acres, all of our girls do have a purpose, at least for us. Some are layers. Some bring wisdom to the flock and teach the young. Some turn over our earth and thatch our lawn. Most importantly, many of our girls are a source of therapy, bringing  joy to our family and friends. Our girls have worked hard. As humans, we know what it means to work hard. If the thought of retirement equaled death, we would never retire! These girls deserve retirement. These girls deserve to bask in the sun’s rays and enjoy the snack of a juicy earthworm. These girls have earned their “Geriatric Chicken Condo” and all of the luxuries it has to offer…

“People think I’m crazy because I talk with my chickens…What am I suppose to do when they ask me questions? Ignore them” ~Unknown

Embrace Yourself…Love Yourself…Just Be You

Roda  (aka “The Crazy Chicken Lady”)

7 thoughts on “The Geriatric Chicken Condo

  1. I love this. At one point my whole coop was a geriatric chicken condo and it lorded over by Napoleon, the fiestiest bantam you’ve ever seen! Keeping chickens was a lot of fun. It would have been a lot more fun if the coop had been plumbed! Enjoy your chickens, elder and otherwise. At 84 birds, you just might want to expand the condo into an entire retirement community…gated when the foxes are around!

    Liked by 1 person

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