My Urban Chicken Adventure

September 19, 2010 - 3:20pm ||| 5 Comments | Add new

On my way to the park with my dog this morning, I stopped off at her dog-sitter’s house to pay her for last week. Cory lives just a couple blocks over from me. I pulled up to an empty spot on the street, got out, and then saw two chickens walking down the sidewalk, a couple doors north of where I was going.

They were not trying to get to the other side, I noticed.

I blinked about five times, trying to clear out the hallucinations, but they were still there. In fact, they had spotted me and were quickly waddling into some overgrown “eco-friendly” plantings in the parkway, the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street, heading for cover.

I had my little Canon with me so I whipped it out, turned it on, and walked around and around the foliage until I could see them. One started to come out by the street, saw me, and headed back in.

So then I hunkered down and waited until I could get a good shot of them in their little hidey-hole:

Chickens hiding off of Monticello Ave.

After a few more snaps, it was obvious they weren’t coming out anytime soon, and poor Zoey was in the car (windows open, cool day, don’t fret) waiting for her trip to the park. So I went over to Cory’s house and when I paid her I asked her if she knew there were chickens walking up and down the sidewalk in her neighborhood. Maybe it was a regular thing? I thought she might say, “oh that’s Gertrude and Mabel. They live in the 2-flat across the street.” I mean who knows, right?

She said oh, they must be Michael and Allison’s (neighbors), sometimes they get out. I’ll call them and let them know. Okay, see you, I said, and went back to make sure the chickens were still okay, safely hidden. There were lots of people walking their dogs and I didn’t want to see any mayhem.

So as I’m walking back to the bushes, the guy (Michael) comes out of his house, just hanging up with Corey. Turns out I actually know this man .. we’ve run into each other at various neighborhood functions over the years. We were just those kinds of neighbors who never remember each other’s names. However his family’s HOUSE is memorable — I’ve walked past it often enough while walking my dogs, both in the front and getting a rear view when walking down his alley. It’s a big old sort of beat-up small Victorian (like so many in our neighborhood), and their yard is one of those wonderful rambly, overgrown, lots of life yards, front and back. From the alley, I could always enjoy the sight of masses of grape vines taking over a really old garage, and a rusty old bicycle parked on TOP of the grape arbor as an art object.

I was not surprised to learn that they kept chickens, let me tell you.

So Mike said “Thanks for letting us know about the chickens! That was Cory on the phone. Sometimes they get out through that gap in the fence.”  And he circled around the foliage and spotted the chickens in the bushes. He said, “they’re really gentle. They just love the worms in that spot, I guess.” And he bent down and scooped them up.

Then he said, hey, would you like some eggs? Of course! I said. I had never had eggs fresh from a chicken before. He said come on into the backyard while I go get some. While I was in the yard, waiting for him to fetch a few from the fridge inside (he said they get 3 a day, one from each chicken), I snapped a couple pix of that yard and the bike on the arbor:

Then he came out with a bunch of eggs, found an empty egg carton in the garage, and I left all smiles with this:

That’s them sitting on my car seat. Here’s how they looked a few minutes after we came home from the park!




Comments (Subscribe to Comments RSS)

1 September 19, 2010 - 3:52pm by Anne Marie:

I was thinking I should’ve called it “My Urban Chicken EGGventure” but that was a bit too hard-boiled for my taste.

2 September 19, 2010 - 7:12pm by MOM (not verified):

I’m so happy I was the first to know of your chicken (tender) story. I’m also happy to know it wasn;’t a frying hot afternoon. It’s nice to know I have a “leg up” on other members of the family re: this matter. I had an ache in my thigh and a feeling of pride in my breast. Sleep well on your feather pillow, my little chickadee!!

3 September 20, 2010 - 12:06pm by Sandee Cohen (not verified):

Great report AM,

I often go to Kauai, Hawaii where roosters roam all over the roads.

It is fun to wake up to the sound of roosters crowing. (If roosters crow, do crows roost?)

What’s fascinating about these feral bands of birds is I never see the chickens.

Nor eggs.

I sometimes think that the roosters are the ones that go out to work to hunt for food. But the chickens stay home, minding the nest.

4 September 20, 2010 - 1:13pm by Anne Marie:

yes, they walk around freely in Key West too! First time I saw them on Monticello Ave. on the northwest side though. ;-)

5 January 17, 2011 - 4:43pm by andressa (not verified):

“My Urban Chicken EGGventure” that is brilliant! Love it!

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