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Okay, what's with all the chickens?
So I get home today, late because there's been another Caltrain fatality[1], and I discover that we have another chick, of strange and mysterious provenance.

She (he? who knows, at this age) wandered into an acquaintance's bedroom. The acquaintance's cat has disclaimed all responsibility, and no obvious chick-emitting sources were found nearby. The chick-finder will continue investigation, but in the meantime we have appropriate food and cat-free shelter, which she does not, so until further notice we've got another chick.

She's a pretty thing, kind of a dark gold, a bit redder than Galen, with some darker speckles on the wings. She's drunk and pooped, and probably eaten (Cathy gave her some food before I got home, and it's been scattered about), so seems to be in good health.

Huzzah, chickens. Once I get a picture I'll see if anybody on Backyard Chickens can identify the breed in case that helps track down the owner.

[1] Trains are big! Trains are mean! Do not taunt happy fun train and stay off the damn tracks, you guys.

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1. yeah. trains always win. except one video we saw on youtube, the tornado won.

2. i would be amazingly confused to come home and find a chicken in my bedroom!

3. umm... enjoy.

I believe she was home when the chicken wandered in, and had deliberately left the door open for the cat. So it was less startling than it might have been, but yeah. Sudden chicken -- often alarming, always startling!

"I want a coop big enough for four chickens, because I expect at some point I will end up with that many," you said.


I know me!

I do not, apparently, know the population of stray and feral chickens in Mountain View, but I know me!

My train stopped at San Mateo and they told us it would probably be an hour until we went anywhere so I stupidly decided to bike to Palo Alto. The train passed me somewhere between San Carlos and Redwood City and I was totally late meeting someone for tea (she left by the time I got there). As punishment for my stupidity I made myself bike home from Palo Alto.

I have a strange chicken question: what do you do with the chicken poop? I've heard it is a great additive to compost but too nitrogen rich to put directly into soil.

That is exactly right. Every day I go through the rice hulls[1] in the coop with a kitty litter scoop and drop the poop lumps in a covered trash can; when that gets full or smelly, I turn it into the compost heap. We haven't actually used any of our own compost yet, but the next time the garden gets turned a load will go in.

[1] These are great bedding. I'm really pleased with them.

If you get to the point that you worried about putting more into your compost heap, I know two people who would love to turn some into their compost.

If they want to come pick some up, they're welcome to it. We don't produce all that much, but our compost is really high in nitrogen already because it's primarily kitchen scraps.

When I was living in Salinas, CA 25 years ago, I used to walk to work every day, and there were chickens running around all over town.

I remember one morning as I walked down a street, there was a rustling in the bushes to the left, and out came a chicken! Followed by a bunch of little chickens! And they all went across the road.

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