Wednesday, October 13, 2010


For those of you that are new to my blog and missed the primer posts on Chicken Math, you will need to read those posts so that you can fully understand the complexities of Chicken Math....even then you will still be confused, trust me on this one.
Prepare to be confused.
Now that the chicks from the spring 'Flood-o-Chickens' have all grown up, it has become apparent that there are lots of boys amongst the ever-burgeoning flock, so the time to enter a new phase of Chicken Math has come. I know, this seems like a wild, ridiculous concept, but we must now delve into the intricacies of Chicken Subtraction.
This lesson took a while for me to catch onto, it was not like a bright bulb suddenly illuminated over my feather-filled head, but more like a dimmer switch that was being slowly turned until 'it' finally came to me....I don't have to just be on the receiving end of Chicken Math! I am a giver, I can spread the chicken love too.

The first step to chicken subtraction was to sort out the extras. Obviously, most of the boys had to go.  I am keeping a couple of roosters....but one can only use so many roosters. The rest had to go. I have no use for that many boys...don't ask me how many, if you've read the previous Chicken Math posts, you know I have no clue. There were also some females among the 'filler chicks' from the hatchery, and I normally keep all the females, but some of them were breeds that I don't keep, either because of temperament or egg size etc. so they had to go as well.

The next phase of Chicken Subtraction started innocently enough, the first victim  recipient of reverse C. M. just kind of fell into my web...err...was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. We had a really bad wind storm one day last spring and ended up with several nests of baby birds knocked out of the trees on our property. I called Jane, our local wildlife rescue person, and she agreed to come and pick up the babies. While Jane was visiting we got to chatting about chickens and she made a comment that she would like to add one or two more hens to her flock, but she did not want to sign up for the hatcheries minimum order of 25 chicks. Well, Jane, I can help you out . Jane was going to take one, but I told her she had better take 4....since they were not sexed, then she would have better odds at having a female or two in the group. I was just looking out for her best interest. By golly, it worked, she took them all, 4 less extra chicks. That was the beginning of Chicken Subtraction.

The next step was to place an ad on Craigslist, just a few chickens at a time so that I wouldn't overwhelm potential buyers. My first ad was for a group of Cubayalas. I placed the ad stating that I had six available and would sell the whole group for $10. I got several responses right away, one was from a lovely couple who called and indicated that they wanted some birds to forage around their acreage and eat bugs-these birds were perfect for fact they loved to forage so much that they were absolutely wild and I could get nowhere near the little boogers. We made arrangements for them to pick up the birds the next day, so I waited until dark when the wild beasties were roosting in the barn, captured them and placed them all in a cage so that they would be ready to go in the morning. When the couple arrived they commented on how nice the birds were and then the gentleman paused for a moment and said, "I thought you said there were six, it looks like there are 8 in there?" I responded by turning away, looking down towards the ground and speaking unintelligible, muffled words into my hand and then promptly announced that we had better get them loaded before it got too hot. The confused couple waved farewell and off they went with their 6...errrr... 8 new birds...Chicken Math.

I still had quite a few to get rid of find homes for. I had a group of Barred Hollands. They are lovely chickens, but again, a bit flighty and they lay smaller eggs than what I want to sell at market. They were somewhat easier to place. Kelly, from OK Acres, was going to be picking up a ram lamb from me so I offered them to her and she accepted. I was going to send all four of them with her, but at the last moment I noticed that a couple of the chicks were looking like they would be roosters, so because she is a friend, I only sent 3. What? So I felt a little guilty.
I later placed an ad for the Buff Rock roosters.

I quickly got a response to my ad for the Buff Rock roos and, once again it was an unsuspecting...errr..... nice couple that was interested. They only needed one boy but when they came to look they had a very difficult time deciding which one they wanted, they were torn between two, so after much deliberation, I offered a solution, "Hey! I have an idea, why don't you take them both for the price of one and then you can keep whichever you like better and give the other away?" Surprisingly, they thought that was a great idea and agreed to take both. Oh, yeah, I Chicken Mathed them.
I tried to Chicken Math my friend Chanin, but she is proficient in Chicken Math skills-she has even more chickens than I do, so she was a bit harder to fool.....I did, however, talk her into a Blue Splash Orpington roo...only one though. I tried to 'accidentally' slip a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte roo in the kennel when she came to pick up the Orp, but she is a clever girl and was able to uncover my wicked plan and went away with just the Blue Splash Orpington. She was a worthy oponent.

My friend Cassie is a fellow chicken hoarder, but has not yet refined her Chicken Math skills to her advantage, so when she came to my house to buy some raw Shetland fleece, I casually showed her the pretty roos.....she now owns 'Ugarte'. There is no shame in Chicken Mathing your friends....if you can get away with it.


A few weeks ago we decided to go to the flea market about an hour's drive from here. I still had a few more roos to get rid of and since I have Chicken Mathed most of the county, I thought it best to try a different venue. So I loaded three roos into the truck and we headed for the flea market. After we found a spot to park at the market, I set the cages out and in no time at all a nice man carrying an empty cage came by, he stopped and admired the roosters. "They are nice roosters", the man said. In my twisted imagination I heard myself burst into an evil laugh, "BWahahahahaha!" In reality though, I said, "Yes, they are. Do you need some?" He thought for a moment and said, "Well, I have about 30 acres and I have a flock of 170 chickens that free-range the property so I can always use another much do you want for one?" I paused and said, " They are three dollars a piece but if you take all three they are free." The man looked quite confused, "I would have to pay for one, but if I take them all they are free?" Clearly he has never been introduced to the principles of Chicken Math. "Well, I guess you can load them all up then!" He. Was. Chicken Mathed.
So, now that most of the extras are gone, I am down to 6 roosters for which I have an add on Craigslist....and Face Book...and another local online classified ad site.....I think people are getting wise to Chicken Math.
I still need to find a home for this guy...
Golden-laced Wyandotte
And these guys..
Rhode Island Red and Blue Orpington.
As well as a few Black Copper Maran roos.
Does anyone want to came and visit? I have lovely parting gifts for one and all.


tbsomeday said...

you make me laugh and laugh and laugh

i LOVE chicken math
you should teach in the schools--would be a great way for the kids to learn life skills
see--you do use math in real life :)

it's too bad the roosters are roosters--they are so beautiful

we're needing to send a few down the road to the bachelor pad...either that or start selling tickets for illegal fighting rings--the roo's are staring to get too big for their britches and the hens are being run ragged with all the er, attention

girlwithasword said...

this is WAY cooler than the math I learned in school.

Tammy said...

Oh my...I love it. You made me laugh out loud at your chicken math skills...and the whole time I'm thinking it's a good thing you don't live nearby! I have been thinking of getting a trio of HENS, but I could see how that would end up in your neck of woods.
Thanks for the wonderful post.

The Little Red Hen said...

Well done :)

Beautiful birds- by the way- good thing I don't live closer.

Christine said...

I love it! I've done some chicken math a time or two myself. If I were closer I'd be interested in the GLW, he's beautiful.

Cassie said...

I'm a-scared to come to your house anymore. I either come away with a sheep or just its fleece or a barrel o' fruit or a rooster.

And Ugarte. Talk about BMOC. He loves his "ladies". He's as big as a St. Bernard.

And of course I'm already thinking about next year's chicks. I've been driving truck for some cash money and every hour I say "another bag o' chicken feed. another bag o' chicken feed."

Michelle said...

I don't do C.M., but I AM getting some of those pretty Speckled Sussex tomorrow!

Nancy K. said...

You are an EVIL woman!


But I still love you!

Kelly said...

Love, love, love this post. I wish I could say I haven't practiced chicken math myself........I've always seemed to talk folks into more chickens than they intended to take. So, I am ever so grateful for your willingness to cut me a break when I took the barred Hollands. Which, by the way, are wonderful chickens!!! And, yes, it's 2 roosters and 1 hen. LOL
You should write a column for the newspaper, you weave a fabulous tale and even if you don't know the subject, you pull us all in with your story.
Congrats on another chicken match season and on another entertaining and delightful story.
BTW-Did you vote yet?

Teresa said...

They are handsome gentlemen, but I still have a Naughty Rooster Boy that someone chicken mathed me with. Hmmm. I wish I had read this post about a year or so ago.

This is just so funny!

Karen Anne said...

Those sure are beautiful chickens, especially the Buff Rock. It's a good thing I don't have a place for chickens, I'd have them coming out of my ears.

Chanin said...

Lol. I was rolling with laughter! Love this. Also laughing because you still have that rooster you tried to give to me. I learned from the 1st time you chickened math me. :) I will confess I chickened math a lady at the last swap meet too.

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