You have chickens.
You are crazy (either just plain crazy or crazy because you like chickens. It doesn’t matter which).
You live in Cochise County.
And you are a lady (no boys allowed).
Those are the requirements for The Crazy Chicken Ladies of Cochise County. This is where a bunch of women get together to talk about all things related to fowl, family, and farm.
The ladies in this group meet once a month and tour a farm, or any place that just has cool animals. I had the privilege of attending the second meeting (a.k.a. field trip) and what a day it was! We live all over the county and met each other via social media.
My day kicked off early. I headed out the door, just after 7:30 am, to a rendezvous point at one of the Crazy Chicken Ladies’ homes. Before we left for the big event, she gave us a tour of her farm and animals. She showed us her free range chickens and her ducks. Then she took us inside to show us all the lizards and monitors that she has rescued, the snakes and bunnies that she is breeding, and of course the rats that she breeds to feed her snakes and sells to local pet stores. This woman is amazing. She clearly loves what she does and is passionate about animals. Plus, she has a son named Tristan. Cool.
Three women and a rooster piled into a car and made the trek to Pearce.
We drove to Pearce and met up with another chicken lady. She is the organizer of the group. She and her husband showed us around their farm. They have a few ducks, lots of chickens, and meat rabbits suspended over their pregnant goat. The suspension cages are a super cool idea which utilizes space and provides adequate shelter for the bunnies. She also showed us her sweet little Silkies and adorable ducklings. You just want a duckling. They are so fuzzy.
Next stop . . . the farm that we were scheduled to tour. Immediately upon entering the property, we see the owner’s passion – Australian Shepherds. She has several of these beautiful dogs and a very spunky Border Collie. This Chicken Lady has sheep, goats, and ducks that are all used to help train her dogs. Her dogs are herders and they get to work or play by working the animals. We saw lambs that were just born that morning, with their very panicked mothers staring and Baaaaing at us. This really reminded me of our time on Crete. Then we headed over to the ducks for some feather trimming. Our organizer was asked to trim the flight feathers of the ducks. So, we all rounded up the ducks and held their wings our to be clipped. What great team work! We had all those ducks done in no time.
After trimming, we cleaned up and had a nice potluck lunch inside. Thankfully, we ate inside because the weather turned ugly. U-G-L-Y, you ain’t go no alibi. Cold and windy all day long. All weekend long. Noooo. And apparently this weather has followed us into the week. Again, nooooo.
We finished up our lunch and headed down the road to drop one of the ladies’ off at her nearby home. But wait! Do we see a wine tasting at the local vineyard? The car was turned around and we spent a few minutes appreciating the fruits of someone else’s labor. Then we piled into the car, again.
The next farm we went to was unscheduled, but hey, we were delivering a precious Chicken Lady to her house. This is where I got to hold a baby goat. Wow! He was so cute and he made little baby goat sounds. Baby goat sounds are irresistible. This is where we all say, “Awwwww.” This is also where our rooster companion ended his road trip. He was re-homed to live among lots of ladies. We discussed the practice of “quarantine” when introducing a new member or animal. This is a great idea – keeps animals free from any illness that the new animal may have, slowly introduces your new animal to the preexisting ones (reduces the chances of murder), and eases your new animal into his new environment. Practical and wise.
The remaining ladies headed back to the organizer’s home, but were hit with the adventurous bug. Hey, it’s not everyday that I’m not attached to kids and Matt. Our driver took us around to Old Pearce, a mining town. She explained that the silver mine reopened and people are back at it. We visited an artisan soap shop where I bought some lotion that smells so good, works great on our very dry skin, and is made of (real) natural ingredients. Then we got a tour of the local cemetery where, as the sign states, “One of Abraham Lincoln’s body guards is buried.”
After this tour we headed back to the car and soon hit the road, again, but this time destined for home. It was 7:30 pm by the time I reached home. It was a jam-packed day, but with amazing things. I felt both energized and exhausted, but it was well worth waking up early on a Saturday. I can’t wait until the next event.