Chicken Dander

Updated: For your naming pleasure…

Growing up I never thought I was allergic to anything. But it turns out I do have many allergies. One that I was unaware of until I started dating Andrew was my goose down allergy. For a while I thought I was allergic to Andrew or basketball. Every time we’d snuggle under some blankets while watching the Blazer’s I would lose my ability to breathe, my ears would feel all stopped up, my eyes would water. It eventually dawned on me that the blanket had down and Andrew was trying to kill me.

The blanket has been relegated to the downstairs for guest warmth or for just in case Andrew gets fed up with me.

I am also allergic to cats. It’s just  a mild allergy though. When I am in a room with a lot of cats my eyes will itch and my throat will get swollen and sometimes my breathing will get belabored; but, about an hour after leaving the situation I will be mostly all better. I have two cats. Apparently, for my allergy, there has to be a large amount of cats and I have heard that a person can get used to their own cats’ dander.

With never having had allergies (or knowing of them), even with the goose down allergy, it never occurred to me that I might be allergic to chicken down. Alas, it appears I am. I know this because Andrew and I got chicks. 8 of them. 2 American Leghorns (pronounced Leggerns) named Foghorn and Carhorn; 2 Black Stars (also called Black Sex Links – which is a little weird) named Harriet Tubman and Malcolm Jamal Warner; 2 Mottled Javas one named Stumptown, the other yet to be named; 2 Red Stars (also called Red Sex Links – also a little weird) one named Betelgeuse the other yet to be named.

The chicks in their box with food and water and plenty of reading material.

Andrew holding Stumptown. Don’t they both look happy? and wee?

So far they do a lot of eating sleeping and pooping. By my understanding, once they grow up they will add egg laying into the mix but otherwise pretty much keep the rest. It is really cool to just watch them putter around in their box and if we can find a Mac compatible wireless webcam we will get it so it can be all chickens all the time! I was afraid to go to bed last night thinking that if I wasn’t watching them something bad might happen. They survived. Also, they already look bigger. Is that possible? I dunno. What I do know is that Widget and Lola are really interested in what’s in the garage peeping.

The chicks are so adorable. I can’t help playing with them and picking them up and petting them and squee-ing until I can squee no more, mostly because my throat has closed up and eyes are so puffy I look like Rodney Dangerfield.

I looked online to see what one could do with an allergy to chicken feathers. The primary solution/suggestion was to not have chickens as pets. I think that’s short sighted – as am I about 20 minutes after hanging with the chicks.

For now, by my count we need a name for one of our Red Star and for one of our Mottled Java. Suggestions?

UPDATE:
Some of the names just didn’t feel right. Foghorn and Carhorn weren’t working. The other Red Star is now called Orville Redden Bokker. The Mottled Java is called ChickenKhan. Then one of the Leggerns is Padma Lakshmi. Now only one Leggern left to name….

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