Chicks, cafes and other important trivia…

Linking up today with Essentially Jess and IBOT.

Poppet with Lacey.

Poppet with Lacey.

We bought chicks this week. It’s been eighteen months since ‘the massacre’, when we lost all seven of our hens to a fox attack in suburban Sydney. I don’t blame the fox – it was Spring, prime breeding time and no doubt it was a hungry vixen with a den of cubs waiting for a tasty chicken breakfast. But I won’t deny it was traumatising to go into the chook pen in the morning and face an eerie silence and corpses strewn around, bloodied and headless. We lost more than egg-laying birds, we lost pets – hand-reared, all with names and individual personalities. We couldn’t replace them immediately and when we did – six weeks later after a massive fox-proofing operation – it was with generic Isa Browns from an intensive chicken farm, still laying but in bad shape – debeaked, scrawny, missing chunks of feathers. They’d spent their short lives standing on wire in a small cage and when we first put them into the pen, they stood motionless for an hour, shocked to feel earth beneath their claws. They’d never walked about on soil before, never dug for worms. Very slowly they began to scratch (important piece of chook trivia: hens live to scratch). Those five generic ex-battery hens had entered Chez Chooky Heaven. They are now fat and fluffy…wish I’d taken before and after pics – you’d be very impressed. 🙂


When you cheat on your local cafe…

Have your ever offended your local cafe owners? Bizarre as this sounds, it’s precisely what I did. We have eight cafes in our suburb, three of which make decent coffee, so naturally we only visit these three. But I’d been lax, I’d neglected one cafe. I didn’t give it a moment’s thought when I picked up a takeaway over the Easter break but I was met with a distinctly frosty reception. No smile or How are you? and a muttered, What coffee was it again? (been drinking skim lattes there for years). I found myself gushing and grinning in a fawning, demented way as I recalled that Wait, I haven’t been to this cafe for ages! I’d been unfaithful, I’d cheated…in short, I am a cafe whore. Guilt washed over me as I acknowledged how thoughtless and cruel I’d been in going to my other two lovers baristas for at least three weeks, behind their back. The cool demeanour was payback. 

cafe pic

Note to self: Cafe proprietors have feelings – very delicate sensibilities, in fact. Don’t spread yourself around too thinly. Do not be promiscuous in your coffee/tea drinking. Or if you do two-time or three-time, do it with more panache than I.

Are you or have you ever been, a cafe whore? Or are you loyal and faithful, eschewing beverage infidelity?


34 thoughts on “Chicks, cafes and other important trivia…

  1. So sorry to hear about the “massacre”, Lee-Anne, but how wonderful you have rescued some battery hens. We have some too, and you are so right, it is incredibly rewarding to see them finally fully-feathered again, happy and looking like the rest of the chickens. I always find they have such lovely personalities as well – though mine are quite bossy with the others – bless ’em! 🙂

    • You’re right about their personalities, Amelia, the two newer battery hens are very timid and were mercilessly pecked by the older bossy battery girls (had to segregate for ages). Hen dynamics are complicated! 😀

  2. I so wish I could have been there to see those lucky, lucky chickens released from their prison and taken under your gentle wings. My sister has just one chicken who does tricks like a dog. It’s the most spoiled chicken I’ve ever met. I stopped going to our local corner shop for ages and organised myself better to do all my shopping at the supermarket. When I finally called into the shop they were decidedly cool towards me and just like you I felt guilty. We’re just too sensitive to other’s feelings Lee-Anne. With brilliance comes sensitivity unfortunately 😉

  3. Your sister’s chicken sounds amazing, I think chooks are cleverer than we suspect – never mind the expression ‘bird brain’. I’m making a supreme effort not to be so brilliantly sensitive in future! 😉

  4. Is it true that you can hypnotise chickens? Can you please experiment for me? 🙂
    I’m promiscuous with my coffee, my decisions are often of a more geographical nature. Aren’t we all capitalists when it comes to coffee? 🙂

    • I think it might be true as when you murmur to them while stroking their feathers, they fall asleep – relaxation or hypnosis, I’m not sure…I’ve never tried planting a thought 😉

      So relieved someone else is promiscuous with their beverages, geographical or otherwise!!

  5. I would need a regular coffee place to begin with!!!
    Though I feel guilty when I get bread from other bakeries, which is a similar thing. So glad you saved those poor chooks. How awful for them to put up with such horrid conditions.

    • Haha, this barista paranoia is hilarious! I called by my offended cafe today for a takeaway and they were a little cool but I think another coffee or two and our good relations will be restored 😉

      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  6. Oh look at those chookins! Love! I want some chooks but couldn’t handle them being in a coup all day and husbie is not so keen on them roaming the back yard and pooing everywhere and digging garden beds!
    As for cafes, we have some great ones here but I’m not a cafe person. Only really go occasionally to meet up for lunch or afternoon tea. Very occasionally.

  7. The new chick is so sweet! It must be so great to have fresh eggs all the time.

    As for the café issue, I’m afraid I have a very bad habit of jumping from place to place. When I lived overseas I actually found it easier to stay ‘loyal’ to one place. Back home, I’ve yet to find one place that I love. Not sure if it’s the café culture here, or just me. 🙂

  8. I am guilty of being a cafe whore! And they were right next to each other! Gee, I was so apologetic when the original cafe saw me sneak away to the one next door! Luckily, they’ve changed owners so I don’t feel so guilty now that I go to the other one…Phew!

  9. It would have been an awful sight to see your hens massacred and I completely understand the attachment to your pets. I’m glad to read that your new hens are thriving. I am a bit shocked by the cold service given to you by the coffee shop. It’s a free country to buy your coffee wherever you want. I don’t think you’re a café whore, just a woman who knows what she wants. Love the names too of your hens. I read them in the comments. 🙂

  10. You learn something new every day! I never knew you could rescue caged chooks let alone some of the other details like the scratching or beaks or anything, poor things. My husband just doesn’t get why I want to spend a couple of extra dollars on free range or farmers markets eggs but I now have some more ammo to add to my arsenal! And I look forward to getting some chooks one day. I’m not a coffee drinker but it does sound like a bit of an awkward situation 🙂

    • Hi Kate! Yes once you know what’s involved in egg production, you can’t really look at a caged egg again…
      You’re very lucky being free of coffee-drinking complications. 😉

  11. How adorable are your chicks!
    I was also once the victim of a cold stare from a coffee cart owner (after I ditched him for a new location and better coffee) to the point where the sensitive and loyal lady that worked for him yelled ‘traitor’ at me when I walked by (despite the fact that I was considerate enough to hide the oppositions coffee in my bag so they wouldn’t see it!

  12. Unbelievable, Kat, it’s only coffee after all…not life or death or world peace or anything important. (I think you were very kind hiding the competition’s coffee in your bag actually!) 🙂

  13. Pingback: Transgender Hen. | Is it just me?

  14. So sad about your beautiful chicks being munched on by a hungry mummy fox.. 😦

    But the tale of the ones you saved is really beautiful. The story of them realising and enjoying their freedom is amazing. (almost makes me teary eyed – I feel like an idiot.. lol)

    You did a good thing after being faced with some pretty horrible circumstances.

    As for coffee, this post just makes me feel grateful that I don’t drink it.. lol

  15. Thanks, Miss Lou, it is very gratifying to see those poor scrawny birds tasting freedom. 🙂

    You are so LUCKY not to be a slave to caffeine – the politics of cafes is horrendous! *Thinking virtuously about green tea*

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