Echo and the first years
I had always been captivated by the neighbor's chickens, with the variety of builds and colors they came in as well as some of their friendly personalities, I became smitten and would frequently bother my mother to take me over to their coop so I could play with their hens. After the neighbors moved, my mother may have made a mistake of accepting their feathered gift with how I immediately became attached to them. We received six birds from their generosity and my sister and I fought over what to name them. After some arguments between ourselves we decided to name them, probably the least original names possible, but in my defense I was only six.
The black bantam Cochin rooster who looked like a basketball was named Blue as the light shining on his feathers made him appear blue. The smallest hen of the bunch was a buff bantam Cochin who always seemed very delicate, with a shallow head, thin neck and a round pom-pom for a tail. Sweetheart was a speckled Sussex who would later become the fierce and determined mother to a single chick. While Tigerlily was a partridge rock with a rough face (my sister named her) there was also two Easter Eggers whose names I do not remember who were amongst the first of many to disappear.
After the two Easter Eggers didn't appear after a few days, it was presumed a fox had eaten them so, to give my birds a home to come back to; my parents built a small 4 foot by 4 foot coop for my birds, which I delightfully crawled into on more then one occasion. Over winter when the coop was moved into the barn, and haybales stacked over the sides of the barn, my birds started to play a few games which I called, "Rafter Tag" and "Hide and Crack". The first game involved my mother and I knocking and trying to guide the birds down from the rafters as we ran around the ground with our heads craned backwards and scrappers in our hands, the second one involved trying to find where the few eggs we received were scattered amongst haybales (I lost that game and eggs alot).
Sweetheart began to hoard some eggs herself and she would puff up at me ferociously when I tried to take her eggs or to slide my hand under her bare breast hoping to feel something fluffy other then her plucked downy feathers. Finally, after weeks of anticipation; on Februrary 27th, 2005, her first egg hatched.
Fearing as it was terribly cold out, and as there was only one chick, my first chick, my mother let me bring it inside, tucked into my winter suite, I trekked through the snow and brought the little chick into the house. My mother came in shortly after and helped me make my first brooder.
THepoor little hen wouldn't stop peeping throughout the night so before midnight she had received my black feather boa (from my halloween costume ) and a horse Beanie Baby
She was later joined by a whole new group of birds
and a few days later, no other eggs hatched