If you haven’t met (St)Eve or Max yet this year, allow me to share their story. In July 2011, I hatched Max, a Black Copper Marans rooster, from an egg that was sent to me by Jen at Louden Farms. Before setting the eggs in the incubator, I knew I was going to have to re-home any roosters due to my neighbor’s vocal aversion to crowing, but figured I’d generate an adoption plan for any roosters if and when it became necessary.
I very quickly grew attached to Max and wanted to keep him as long as possible. I very much wanted to hatch some of his babies and was waiting for my pullets to mature in order to mate them to him, but had no idea about fertility in roosters. In order to placate the neighbors, I brought Max into the garage or basement every night into his “man cave.” We would let him out into the yard in the morning when he was less likely to wake up the neighbors. His days were numbered. I had to find a good, forever home for him.
On New Year’s Eve 2012, I hatched one very special chick of Max’s. His mother was my Buff Orpington hen, April.
I named the chick “Eve” for obvious reasons, hoping that the power of positive thinking would will the chick to be female and that a part of Max could stay with me.
(St)Eve with baby Maxon, 1/18/12.
Knowing how quickly chickens grow, I thought that it would be interesting to photograph the chick once every day of its first year. Signs quickly began pointing to the fact that Eve might be a roo, such as a pronounced comb and reddening wattles, long tail feathers and a telltale posture. I started referring to the chick as “(St)Eve,” being unwilling to concede too soon that the chick might be a cockerel. By the time it became undeniable, the name with its unique spelling had become part of his identity.
By February, both Max and his son, (St)Eve, needed adoptive homes before my neighbors lost any more patience with the two boys’ crowing. Turning to my long-distance chicken friend, Jen Louden for consolation at the impending loss of my two boys, I wished aloud that Max could return to live on Louden Farms where he came from as an egg. Jen actually bit at the idea and we began to toy with the idea of transporting Max to Ohio. A few phone calls and emails later, we had hatched a plan involving a local limo company to transport both Max and his son (St)Eve back to Louden Farms.
Before he left, I made a video tribute to Max.
On Valentine’s Day, 2012, I drove with my husband to the limo company with Max and (St)Eve.
The limo took us to Madison Square Garden in New York City where we handed off the boys to an acquaintance of Jen’s, Tiffany, who also lived in Ohio. Tiffany happened to be in NYC showing her dog at the Westminster Dog Show. Tiffany drove the boys to Ohio, where they met Jen.
Jen and the boys arrived at their new home in the wee hours of the morning of February 15, 2012.
2/14/12 in New York City for the hand-off.
Jen’s daughter, Sydney, bonded with (St)Eve immediately. ♥
Max and (St)Eve live happily ever after with the Louden family, who have graciously continued (St)Eve’s photo journal every day this year. A Year in the Life of a Chicken, can be viewed on my Facebook page and on the Louden Farms Facebook timeline. I am confident we will continue to enjoy frequent updates about the boys from Jen and am grateful for her generosity and good humor in this endeavor and always.