Bacon's Story and a Chicken-Keeping Giveaway

You know that sweet story where a cat shows-up on a person's doorstep and eventually the person adopts the cat and tells everyone "he chose me". Have you ever heard of a chicken doing that? Well, now you have.

Bacon's Story

Bacon showed up one day in the copse of trees behind our rental. It was one of many homes, in the suburbs, on a cul-de-sac. At the time, she wasn't known as Bacon. She was just some random white chicken with a propensity for climbing trees. Not just flying up trees, but jumping from branch to branch.

My first thought was that the neighbor's chickens got out and she had escaped being corralled back. So, I walked a few houses down, knocked on the door and asked if they were missing a chicken. "No", was the answer I received. So, I walked home again and started researching chickens. I quickly learned that she was a Leghorn. One of the best breeds for laying a lot of eggs.

My husband and I debated what to do. We had never had a chicken in our lives before, but she seemed to have put down roots behind our home, so it seemed like we needed to know a little more about her. Every night she roosted in a tree, and during the day she flew down and pecked at the ground for food and drank from the little stream nearby. I went to the feed store and bought some chicken feed and started spending time with her. It wasn't long until I had her eating out of my hand (literally).

Meanwhile, my husband set to making her a nest box. He designed it to be up on a pole, so that she was off the ground and hopefully more safe. This is before we realized that chickens don't sleep in their nests (unless they are raising chicks). But, she took to the next box, and within a day or two of it being up she left a gift. Lo-and-behold there was an egg in the box! I was in awe! I showed everyone I could (before I ate it). It was bigger than any grocery store egg I had ever seen. This was when I realized that she needed a name, and with eggs on the brain, I decided to call her Bacon. I called my mum and told her about Bacon and she said "why can't she be named a feminine name, like Daisy?" but my mum knows me well enough to know that I am both stubborn and quirky, so she let the name debate drop.

Bacon lived through snow storms and torrential rain in happiness in her copse of trees and this went on for a few weeks. However, as the weeks progressed, she started to get bolder. At night, she went across the street and hopped onto the neighbor's truck and then jumped up into the tree in their front yard to roost. This made me panic. If the neighbor saw a chicken on their truck they'd get ticked off and might try to catch-her, or worse. I quietly made my way across the street and whisper-yelled "Bacon, Bacon, Bacon" up into the tree. Of course, she didn't come down (it was bedtime after all) and I looked absolutely crazy to anyone watching (which I hope no one was).

Not long after that, we were outside in the backyard when a car pulled up on the other side of the trees and a lady started trying to coax Bacon into her car. I went over and said "hello" and when I told her that the chicken lived here, she quickly blurted out some story and drove off.  We went as far as to make a sign "The Chicken Lives Here, Do Not Disturb". It worked for a while, but the more interest Bacon roused from passersby, the more I realized that it was time to make a firm decision. I could either be OK with it when someone walked off with my chicken, or, I could buy her a coop. Needless to say, I rushed off to the feed store and made the most expensive impulse buy I have ever made. We came home with a coop, picked up Bacon and plonked her down in said coop.

I could hardly watch as this free spirit started pacing back and forth in her coop as though she just remembered she'd left the stove on and she needed to get home right away! I felt so bad, as though I had crushed soul, but I also knew I was saving her from an unknown future that could even lead to a soup pot.

About a week later, I met with someone I found on Craigslist who was selling hens. That day I brought home Marmite. Marmite and Bacon became my first two chickens, and fast friends.


Bacon (right) and Marmite (left) eat some sunflower seeds.


Bacon and Marmite share the new coop.

Even to this day, Bacon still tries to roost in the trees some nights. I have to keep an eye out for that, because the local owl would capitalize on her being a free meal. But, during the day she gets the freedom to wander the large chicken yard with her other six hen-friends. They have logs to peck at, bushes to hang out under and trees to fly up. I estimate she is now at least 7 years old (this is practically geriatric for a chicken) and she still lays about 3 eggs per week . I can still pick her up and she will jump up in my lap if I sit in a chair nearby. She's the most talkative and resilient of all the hens I've had since then, and unlike the rest of my hens, she chose me.


Bacon, with her current group of hen-friends.



The Giveaway

It is spring and those cute chicks can be found in every farm store around. I've been keeping chickens (and turkeys for some time) for 6 years now, but maybe you're thinking of starting your own flock! This giveaway is for anyone who has chickens, or is planning to get chickens. I'll contact the winner on April 8th.


1 bag of chicken treats and instructions on how to make your own chicken toy (yes, chickens like toys too!)


Also, if you have any burning chicken-raising questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them. I have compiled all sorts of tricks over the years and sometimes had to learn the hard way, so if I can help someone else it would be my pleasure!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. I love this story! You might be the only person I've heard of who started raising chickens because a stray one wandered into their yard. :) Bacon sounds like quite the character, and proof that chickens make good pets (and earn their keep unlike other pets - LOL).
    Our chicks are ordered and we will be getting them around April 14th. I can't wait!
    I couldn't figure out how to enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter though? Something seems to be missing.

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  2. What a great story! I have never had chickens all my own, but my daughter has, and, as a result, I do love a chicken story! Thanks for sharing yours. (I follow your blog now because of the regular Thursday post you write. How do your poodles respond to your chickens?)

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  3. Awwww this is an amazing story! I wish I could say I had a similar story to share! Anything with chickens is fun! I've been talking to my husband about getting chickens but I literally don't know where to start! If you have any tips for me, that'd be awesome!

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  4. this was just charming! Two species connecting in a meaningful way. I am not raising chickens but you make me want to. Long life to Bacon! LeeAnna

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  5. As a chicken momma, I love all chi Ken stories

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  6. My bf has chickens love to watch them....

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  7. I love the story ...love chicken had them with a was a kid

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  8. cool my neighbor has some this would be fab to give to her thanks so much :)

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  9. My daughters my chicken whisperer and she loved the cute chickens.

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  10. my chicks would love some new toys

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  11. My aunt has chickens I'd give this to her

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  12. amazing story. warms the heart. just believe

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  13. This is such a sweet story! Love it!

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  14. My son's preschool class recently got 2 cute little chicks as Class Pets. He was lucky enough to be able to pick one of their names, and he chose Sadness. I asked him why and he said it was from a Disney movie. Can anybody help me out with the name of the name of this movie? Anyway, it'd be awesome to be able to win these for his class pets!

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  15. Such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing.

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  16. What a great story, ty for sharing!

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  17. I love my chickens! Okay, Roscoe the Rooster and I don't always get along, but all the cool chicks seem to like him.

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  18. That's so sweet, and I have to say that I had no idea that chickens liked toys too.

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  19. For some odd reason, about 100 new posts showed up in my inbox a couple days ago and I'm just now 'up' to April. Oy. Love this story of how you got started raising chickens. My daughter and her family had chickens when they lived in Colorado and now have some in their new home in Oregon. The kids named them all and each one had a personality. When they lived in Colorado, I was the lucky recipient of fresh eggs...boy there just isn't anything quite like it being sold in stores. I have to buy mine now and they aren't nearly as good. I'm quite jealous of people who have them in the city and may at some point start a small coop just to be able to enjoy the taste once again. Well done! 🐓

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