Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We Want Chickens

In the meadow is a remnant of some wooden structure and a rusted wire fence. For 15 years I've imagined it was once a chicken coop. I'd love chickens. A coop, a fence, and some chickens--February is buy-your-chicks time--and my neighbor and I would have lovely fresh eggs from beautiful glossy chickens (I want guinea hens, too, and those gorgeous Polish chickens with plumes that cover their eyes so they can't see) and intense, devoted relationships with each chicken, including the rooster, who'd never chase or bite, and whose voice in the morning I love.

Coop: Easy. Buy it. (Worry later about cleaning and heating it.)

Fence: Not so easy. Friend of mine lost chickens every night until he cut a door into an oil drum where they slept, and even so kept a firearm handy and ran outside barefoot and buck-naked to defend his chickens when he had to. Mine would need ample space enclosed on all sides including the top: raccoon-proof, hawk-proof, coyote- and fox-proof, deer-proof, dog-and-cat-proof, and thief-proof. (Demetrius said, "Everything loves to eat chicken.") Somehow fix it so moles, voles, dogs and prairie dogs can't tunnel in. Failure would mean the trauma and gore of a chicken massacre and I could probably survive, emotionally, only one such event.

Chickens: Easy; buy them. Some of each kind. Maybe buy them mail-order, and get chickens in the mail! (Worry later about mites, diseases, hen-pecking, worms, lice, and weather extremes.) But I vow I will have my own chickens someday.

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