Cuckoo for cochins (and giving the building inspector ulcers)

Yes, dear readers, it’s official: I have lost my mind!

Yesterday, I added two more chickens to our little flock, and plan to add one or two more in a month or so.

My doctor said I’m not allowed to take a nap in the afternoon any more, and since it was cold and rainy I couldn’t go for a walk. I figured it was a good day to go visit Nature Berry Farm in Macedon.
Just to look at the chicks, you know. Kill some time. Get out of the house.
OK, I confess. I knew they had Sicilian Buttercups and I wanted one.
I met Jim and Sandy Pecora, who own the little farm, and Jim gave me the grand tour and introduced me to the chicks. I would have taken two Silkies then and there, but they aren’t sexed yet and I can’t have roosters. So I need to wait a few weeks until they can tell the guys from the gals. (Here’s what a Silkie looks like.)
Then we went to see the birds that are about 7 weeks old, and ta da! After talking with Jim, I decided the Buttercup probably wasn’t a good bird for our flock because they’re better free range. But I fell in love with the cochins.
Tempermentally, they’re a lot like my Polish hens, Lucy and Ethel. But they’re fluffy birds with feathers on their feet.
One is a Buff Cochin, the other a Partridge Cochin. Too cute.
I think I’ll name the buff hen Camilla – after Gonzo’s girlfriend – or maybe Cornelia, and the partridge Elenore. I was going to name her Shirley – get it? Shirley Partridge? – but I thought that was too goofy.
I went to the village office today to get a permit for 4 more chickens – because I am getting at least one Silkie – and of course caused a big snarl of red tape. Even though they won’t be in the coop for a month or more, giving us more than enough time to configure the sleeping situation, I couldn’t be sure I had the required 4 sq. ft. of inside space. So I couldn’t get a permit for 4 birds.
I could only get a permit for the 2 I already bought, and Jim the building inspector is coming over Thursday to … well, inspect the buildling.

But ta da! Turns out our coop is actually big enough to give 8 chickens their 4 sq. ft. required by building code! I’ll definitely figure out how to house the two Silkies before I get them.

Here’s the dilemma: the Cochins, the Polish, and the Silkies are very similar in personality. Timid, mild mannered, easily picked on. The other four – Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Sussex, and Wyandotte (aka Mrs. Beasley) may end up picking on the more timid birds. So I may end up having to have two coops to keep them apart. I don’t want to make any major renovations to the coop and then have to actually separate the birds.

But I have time to find out, now that I know the coop is the right size.

So there you go: two new chickens!

Visit my new blog, Notes From The Funny Farm, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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