her grandchildren. Here, I relate my experiences raising chickens.
A few years ago a guy I worked with asked me if I wanted some chickens. "Sure, why not?" I said, and the next day he brought me seven Bantam chicks with a warning "...they run heavy to roosters". Hmmmm.... what does that mean? What it meant was that three of the remaining six (my dog killed one) would be roosters. I eventually learned that more than one rooster is a problem.
A month later he brought me six more chicks, and I had a small flock to take care of over the winter. These mini-chickens (Bantams) are egg layers, and are way too small to eat a la KFC. So I sub-divided the tool shed, and eventually they started laying eggs, golf ball sized eggs, small but wonderfully tasty.
Unlike most chickens that have been bred to ignore their eggs, some of my hens actually wanted to "set" on their eggs. I discouraged this for a few months by removing the eggs every day, but then curiosity got the better of me and I decided to let one of our hens (Downybutt) hatch a few of her eggs.
A few weeks later, three of her eggs hatched and we brought DownyButt into the kitchen to raise her chicks in a small crate. After a few days of being "on holiday" in our kitchen she started pecking at her babies, became rather bitchy, and was quickly banished to the chicken house. This left us with three cute little chicks that would peep endlessly at dusk, wanting to be tucked under wing I figured, or under dishtowel as it turned out.
We got pretty good at calming them down and getting them to sleep, and I became the "chicken bus", taking them outside for the day and bringing them back to their nest box for the night. After a few weeks of this their nest box went outside, but they still wanted to be tended to in the evening. One of them started flying up to my shoulder at bed time and I was kinda thrilled, a poor man's parrot I figured, without the chatter.
Eventually they grew up and joined the flock, and started treating me the way all of the other chickens treated me - abject terror! After all, I'm the Egg-Stealer, the Head-Chopper, the Gun-Toter, the Arbiter of who lives and who dies.