I sold chooks on Twitter


Silver Laced Wyandottes

There are times when you just need to call your mother.

She’s the only one who will understand and make it right. Straight away. Right now.

And then sometimes, she will laugh so hard she’ll drop the phone.

Like Sunday. I rang my mother, from the front door of the chook palace. The conversation went something like this.


I know it’s your birthday tomorrow, and that’s great but I have something funny to tell you. I accidentally bought full sized chooks and the bantams have gone nuts. What do you think will happen?

Cue: Hysterical laughter. Then some more. Then this.

I’m sorry darling, I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it just so funny.

Hmmm thanks mum. There are good reasons that she thought this whole situation was hilarious. There was a time when my sole ambition was to live in a one bedroom flat in Potts Point with no more than a jade plant to look after. I am still working through childhood trauma of witnessing a duck massacre that no three year old should have seen. It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I not only have a lot of pot plants, but also a cat and chooks. Not to mention the bees.

Over the next twenty minutes or so Mum and I agreed that the Silkie really is the most pretty bantam, even though in some quarters of my household they are frowned upon, that four bantams might be the right number for our place, that $50 might be a lot of money for a chook and in mum’s words ‘they saw you coming’ – in my defense they really do cost $50 around here and demand is high – and that the Wyandottes were a very pretty mistake. She was very curious about how I managed to ‘accidentally’ buy chooks.

Our chook palace has taken a long time to fully realise its potential. While it was easy enough to build (although I did practically nothing) finding the ‘right chooks’ proved quite difficult. There were hurdles to be overcome. The ‘right chooks’ were a list that came down to a few breeds of bantam sized chook. We trawled markets, rang people, scoured websites, consulted poultry fanciers for miles around, no chooks to be had. Eventually, a month ago we lucked upon four bantams, two blue Langshans and two game bantams, one English and one Australian. So far so good. Everyone one was happy, the garden was losing pests at a rapid rate, life was good.

Then I got a tip off. Silver laced Wyandottes. An extremely hard to find, special pretty chook. Someone I know found a breeder. And the the fun began. After initially being told there were none to be had, an unexpected message. Four on offer. Now at this point, I should have doubled checked their status. But I didn’t. I assumed they were bantams. It wasn’t until five weeks later when we were driving the hundred kilometres to the farm outside Canberra, that a tiny little twitch flashed across my mind.

I voiced this twitch, but already, it was too late. Of course, as soon as we turned the corner of the shed my mistake was confirmed. Full size. One of those moments. To come so far, for the wrong chook. And it’s all your own fault. As graciously as I could, we lowered the total number to two. We could take two. All the way home I tried to figure out what to do. In my heart I knew it was a mistake.

As soon as the bantams saw the big chooks, the disaster was confirmed. The disappointment in the humans was palpable and at once, I promised to re-home them tomorrow. All the while I was speaking, I was thinking of the bloody trading post and endless calls ‘youse sellin’ the chooks?’ After much chook angst, my brave top chook Langshan, brave little feisty princess, went straight up to a Wyandotte four times her size and gave her ‘what are you looking at?’ only to be met with a swift flapping slap down. I knew I needed this fixed TODAY. To restore my sanity and the chook shed equilibrium and my standing with my beloved, the Wyandottes, although beautiful had to go. I turned to the only place I could think of. Twitter. I issued a cry for help.

Soon after this, I posted a tweet, complete with fantastic typo, advertising the Wyandottes. Immediately, there was a frenzy of re-tweets and the network sprang into action. After fifteen minutes the wonderful Vivienne stepped up. Her chook keeping credentials are exceptional. There are people who want to come back as one of Viv’s chooks. Could she have them? Could she what! When could she come and pick them up? Monday! Done. Final call. All done. Sold.

A lucky serendipity. Great timing. Best silver lining for a long time.


Gorgeous Langshan - blue

Gorgeous feisty Langshan