Hen House Diaries
By Sunshine and Rosey with Neena
Sunshine: Hello, it’s me–Sunshine!
Rosey: (jumping up and down) …and me, too–if you forgot my name–it’s Rosey. Did you miss us? I bet you did because we missed you too.
Sunshine: (Pecking Rosey) I know that I’m supposed to be the mother of the coop but I can’t myself and I am always pecking the little hens.
Rosey: Well you better STOP because that hurts!
Sunshine: Back to the important stuff. We just moved to a new home.
Rosey: We are no longer in the Sunflower Sentry Garden but have moved to Mama Barbara’s house.
Sunshine: Mr. Natalio and his crew built us a new coop and enclosed play area nestled in some giant trees. It’s so beautiful!
Rosey: We are getting used to it. So come to our new garden any time.
Sunshine: Hay, and bring us some jelly donuts. They are our favorite treat.
Rosey: Bye, see you soon. Yah!!!
I am feeling a bit sad today. Missing Goldie and her happy clucks as she dug worms each day. Did you know that she once pulled 15 fat, juicy wigglies out of the ground in 20 minutes and ate them all? Slurped them down. None of us has beaten her record yet. Do you think she misses us as much as we miss her?
By Sunshine, Starlight, Rocket and Rosie
Sunshine: We have some very sad news. Goldie, the Queen of the Coop, our special mama and protector got very sick and passed away. We are all so upset and miss her vey much.
Rocket: I am so sad. It just isn’t the same without her.
Rosey: I keep waiting for her to waddle down the ramp and give me a morning nudge. She was also so kind to us chicks.
Starlight: Mama Barbara told us she got pneumonia and tried very hard to get well but was just too old. Did you know that she was seven?
Rocket: Before she died, Goldie worried about us chicks because Sunshine likes to peck us. She made her promise to be our new mama and watch out for us as a special favor to her.
Rosey: Truth is, Sunshine is trying not to peck but she can’t help herself. She just has to peck as we walk by. When Mama Barbara catches her, she reminds Sunshine to be good–and that Goldie is watching.
Sunshine: I am trying, really. Promise.
By Sunshine with Emily
This is not a nose. It’s a beak that I use to eat. I can also peck you. You see, I am Sunshine, the Warrior Queen of the coop. Don’t mess with me or my hens or you will get it. Now, back away!
Answered by: Rocket with Henry
I was five months old when I laid my first amazing blue egg. It was–about an inch long–probably bigger–much bigger. I laid my first egg because Henry cuddled me. I am an early bloomer–it probably has something to do with all the cuddles.
By Ellie, age 10
I smell the fresh air,
I breathe in as much as a can.
I am tired of my egg,
I want to experience and I want to live.
I want to eat.
I want to run.
I feel the warm breeze on my beak.
I try to peck my way out as fast as I can.
I am free; I am free to waddle as far as my heart takes me,
I am free to stuff my face with crunchy fresh lettuce,
My life has just begun.
To the cutest little chickie—Rocket
By: Addie, age 9
I am Rocket. Everybody calls me the awesome chicken; at least I think so. But enough about that. When Mama was putting us hens away, she could not find me because I was laying an egg in the corner of the coop. Mama opened the door and exclaimed, “There you are!” She realized that I was laying an egg and needed my privacy so she closed the door and left me alone. I gave her a delicious egg.
By: Emily, age 9
I woke up this morning and it was very cold. I thought about going in to the garden and digging for sweet worms. I love to slurp them in my beak. I am the best worm finder—even better that Goldie—and she’s the queen. Sometimes Goldie shares her sweet worms with me.
Today, I am going to teach my sisters, Rocket and Rosie how to dig for worms.
By: Sophie, age 9
Chickens: Rocket, Rosie, Starlight and Goldie
Starlight: Hi Goldie
Goldie: Hi Starlight
Starlight: Have you seen Rocket, Goldie?
Goldie: No, have you seen her?
Starlight: Where do you think she is?
Goldie: You check the coop and I will check the garden.
Narrator: Starlight darted off in one direction towards the coop and Goldie darted off in the other direction all around the garden. Starlight had checked the whole entire coop and Goldie had checked the whole entire garden and had only found a few of Rocket’s feathers
Goldie: Look, Starlight! The gate is open!
Starlight: Look over there. There’s Rocket she’s going down the hill.
Goldie: After her!!!!!!!!
Narrator: Starlight and Goldie followed Rocket all the way down to the creek and down to Schoonmaker Beach.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ms. Barbara came to let the chickens out of the coop but instead she found the gate wide open and all the chickens out. Worst of all, there were three chickens missing. Miss Barbara walked up the hill to Miss Siskin’s fourth and third grade class not bothering to close the gate because she was so worried about Rocket, Starlight and Goldie. She walked in, in the middle of history not even bothering to ask Miss Siskin if she could interrupt the lesson and she said …
Miss Barbara: Rocket, Starlight and Goldie are missing! We have to search for them! I will take a group down to the creek. Miss Siskin, can you look around campus and alert ever person you see. Miss Mayes, will you make posters?
Miss Siskin and Miss Mayes together: OK
Narrator: 3 pm came and went; then 4 pm. Miss Barbara’s group came back to school. Miss Siskin and Miss Mayes’ group had already gotten dismissed. The people that went to After School went to After School and the people that went home went home.
Mr. Noah: Today in After School we will take a field trip to Schoonmaker Beach.
After School kid: Ok.
A few of the Siskinites noticed a few colorful birds as soon as they were let out onto the beach the Siskinites ran to one side of the beach and found Rocket, Starlight and Goldie.
Narrator: As they walked down to Schoonmaker Beach the Siskinites looked for Starlight, Rocket and Goldie. As they got to Schoonmaker Beach, one
Siskinite 1: We found them!!!!!
Siskinite 2: When are we going to leave, Mr. Noah?
Siskinite 3: Because we need to return these chickens to school.
Goldie was obsessed about finding out what the four little chicks eat. This afternoon we were all in the garden digging for worms when she announced that she had a plan to sneak into their coop and take a look at their food. We hens—Sunshine, Peanut, Goldie and I all waited in the bushes until the chicks left for their afternoon dirt bath. While they lazed in the sun, Goldie ran through the tomato bed and crept up the ramp to the coop. She immediately saw their food bowl, waddled over and took a bite. As we all watched, she took another bite and another. Soon she was face first into the feeder gobbling the food.
We were lost in the moment when a long, dark shadow slowly moved across the door. Oh, no. Mama! I wanted to scream, “Run!” but nothing came out of my beak. “Goldie! Why are you eating the chicks’ food? Out!” she cried.” Goldie froze so Mama took the feeder and helped her out of the coop.
I figured that as long as Mama was there I would ask her why the chicks got different food. She told me that babies eat a ground starter meal that is high in protein for growing and medicated to keep them from getting diseases like coccidiosis which can kill them. Mama said that chicks can’t eat our big girl food because it has lots of calcium in it for laying eggs and that would damage their little kidneys.
Mama asked if I had any other questions, gave me a nice scratch and went back to work. I told Goldie what I learned and she felt bad that she ate their food. “Hey, Brownie—it tasted really good! Maybe I’ll grow.” I didn’t tell her that she was already big enough and didn’t need to grow anymore.