Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer in the City

Summer in Philadelphia is unpleasant more often than not.  It's hot, it's sticky, it's humid.  Most of the time it's all 3 together, and every place that isn't hot, sticky and humid is arctic-cold from AC, which makes it even harder to face outside.

Which leads me to this: it is easier to keep a chicken warm than cool.   Temps hit 100 today, without a whole lot of warning.  It was hot yesterday, but the girls coped okay.  They were both panting, but apparently chickens pant.  Go figure.

This a.m, I put ice in the chickens' water and set up shade around the coop.  It wasn't enough.  When I got home, Bonnie was fine (still panting), but Gilda was down.  She's been acting a little funky lately, not laying a lot, so I think there may have been more to her demise than just the heat.

I'm sorry she's dead, and I'll miss her pretty blue eggs, but the main thing I'm upset about is that Bonnie is an only chicken, and it's not good for them to fly solo.  So I need to find a friend for her.  There's enough illegal poultry in my neighborhood to make Frank Perdue turn over in his grave, I'm hoping I can find someone who's willing to give up a laying hen to the cause.

I am kind of surprised.  When I got them, I liked them but some part of me never warmed up to them as pets.  Which, given the circumstances, is a good thing.  As I've expanded the backyard garden into something resembling the backyard farm, and added the chickens, my library has expanded beyond fiction and sewing books.  I don't remember where I read it, but this line came back to me tonight as I lifted Gilda out of the coop, wrapped her in plastic and disposed of her.

"When you have livestock, you're eventually going to have deadstock."  It's not harsh, it's just the reality of the situation.

And I need another chicken.

And have I ever mentioned I'd like to get goats?  How would I conceal those in a 20x20 yard?

8 comments:

Kyle said...

Sorry to hear about Bonnie's demise. May she rest in peace.

velosewer said...

I hope you can replace your prized pet.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I'm thinking its time to move out of Philly. You truly sound like a farmgirl. 'Cause I don't remember chickens expiring from the heat on my grandparents farm in SC probably cause they had space to roam and find shade. And a goat? Really you want a goat?!

annie said...

Pore old Gilda. We've been watching a webcam from Cornell featuring hawks. One of the things we've relearned is the fragility of birds' lives. I second Carolyn. Really? I live in the country and I wouldn't go there.

Marjie said...

My second daughter has just moved in with her older sister in Philly, and they are griping to no end about the lack of central a/c. Sorry about your chicken. My hubby's neighbor had a full=on farm in his 30x50 backyard in Manchester, CT in the 1950s, and his worst memory is of being chased by the rooster when he was 3. Mrs. T's apple pie made it all better.

Cennetta said...

Wow! You have chickens. Sorry your chicken died. And want goats too. Wow.

Elizabeth said...

I live in Maine and used to keep chickens and goats. I highly recommend the goats--they are very good company and give milk too!

barbara said...

if you figure out how to hide goats, please tell me. i want them too. why can people have gigundo dogs and not small goats? if you clean after them, they don't smell any worse. maybe better, and you don't get hair in the house.