Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
Mamacita was one hell of a chicken. I spose you gotta be to get an ode.
Though are chickens were unbanded as babies and therefore mostly indistinguishable from one another I have my suspicions that Mamacita’s troubled chicken life started young. I think she was one of the two named baby chicks, either Caboose or Wiley. So named because they were always the smallest and the hardest to catch in the brooder box. With good reason of course, they suffered from poop butt. Its a pretty self explanatory problem, their poop literally got stuck to their butt hole, which if left to its own devices would eventually cause a blockage from which said baby chick could not recover, backing up their entire system and killing them. Thank God mom read about this before we got our first baby chicks for she was prepared and dutifully wiped their butts (more like scrubbed under the faucet) for them twice a day until they figured out how to poop properly.
As I’m sure you can understand, these chickens feared the hand reaching in the box. I have no way of knowing for sure that one of these grew up to be Mamacita, but it only makes logical sense.
Mamacita became Mamacita in the late Winter of 2012. First, she was the first to go broody. Which basically means when you open the door to snatch your eggs, she’s there, laying on them and poofs up her feathers and squawks at you and gets all pissed when you take them. Broody chickens are generally not happy chickens, unless of course you leave them alone and let them have all the eggs. Broody chickens don’t lay any eggs themselves, generally deter the other hens from entering the nesting boxes, and if they are brave enough to do so anyways, they steal their eggs and add them to their little clutch. So broody chickens was not a good thing. We didn’t want baby chicks, we wanted eggs.
At first, mom thought this hen would cure herself of this. She did not. And in fact, to make matters worse, she caused a broody epidemic. By the next day she had another hen broody, and the next day, another one. Finally, when the number got to 4, mom decided to separate them. She had read all sorts of things you can do to unbroody a chicken, (including hanging them in a pillowcase from your clothesline), but mostly the goal was to make them cold because somehow that temperature drop fixes the hormones. So Mom took all 4 ladies out of the coop and left them in our giant dog crate for a day/night. It worked, for the most part… But not on Mamacita. She would not be fooled. Two or three days later she stopped poofing up at us and we let her out, joke was on us. Mom found her hoarding eggs again the next day. Next, Mom decides to put her in her own micro coop and let her sit on 2 eggs. Why fight the poor lady, she can’t help it. One more hen goes broody soon after and Mom adds her to the broody coop, splitting the eggs between them. Sometime in March they finally hatched and as soon as they did, Mamacita bailed and went back to her old life in the big coop, leaving the other broody hen to raise her babies.
But no, the story does not end here. My memory is a little fuzzy on this detail, but I’m almost certain that not too long after her bailing on mothering duties she went broody again. Correct me here if I’m wrong mom, but I’m pretty sure this is when we finally decided she was crazy.
As you might have guessed, Mom has a soft spot for Mamacita, so come harvest time for the roosters we raised, she wasn’t on the chopping block. But when we found her in the coop one morning 2 weeks ago, broody, we wasted no time segregating her and giving her a deadline. Hank told her more then once that she needed to seriously think about her decision this time. She spent two cold nights in a rabbit cage hanging from a tree and it did not change her broody mind. So we said our thanks for being an entertaining chicken, killed her, and buried her in a garden bed, saying thanks again for adding lasting goodness to our future harvests.
And that is how Mamacita earned a name and an ode.