Most people strive for inner peace and find ways to bring less stress into their lives to achieve this. For some reason, I cast about for ways in which to drive myself crazy with anxiety. I must’ve needed to age several years as why else would I purchase four beautiful white chickens which now cause sleepless nights of worry?
I’ve never really looked at a chicken before but now that I own four of them, I think they’re extraordinary and lovely. That’s a bummer as I’ve already messaged a chicken farmer down the road who said owls, hawks, raccoons and bobcats have all killed countless numbers of her birds, and she’s had to electrify both the top and bottom of her fence.
We can only try, I suppose. You’ll recall the situation several years ago when I tried beekeeping. After purchasing the hives, frames, smoker, bee suit, hot knife, honey spinner, and the bees themselves, a bear came along and knocked down the hive and ate the bees and honey and came back the following spring to see if there was more to be had so I had to pack in beekeeping.
Because I’m scared of chickens and hoping through experience this will pass as I felt the same way about the bees and got over that, I had Calvin drive us to Glenmore to pick them up. The farmer was super nice, as was his small son and their beautiful basset hound dachshund-mix female dog. We popped the hens into a dog kennel and put them on the back seat and drove home.
The coop is lovely. Filled with straw, a ladder for them to roost on, nesting boxes, water, food, and a motion-sensitive light outside, we said night night to the hens. I then spent the night wondering if they were too hot, or too cold, or if perhaps a raccoon was tearing at the screen and if we should have a sturdier covering for that window. You know, the relaxed rural lifestyle we all crave.
And here’s more fun. The dogs are hounds so they’ve hunted quails, squirrels and other rodents, and these menaces are going to discover four white birds living in a fenced area of the yard. Though the dogs never go into this area, now fenced they want in in the worst way.
Calvin is so adorable as he’s used to large dogs on his parents’ farm which were shown the chickens and learned not to touch them. He said once the dogs know those are their chickens they’ll be fine, and I said I doubt that very, very much. Most big dogs are trained to listen given they’re size and all, but these two little hounds won’t do the most basic things so to stop them from biting a chicken seems impossible. To be continued.
I remember telling people about the beekeeping and a common response was “oh did you take that course at the college on beekeeping?” to which I would reply in the negative. Usually with a “Heavens, no!” And now when I tell people about the chickens, with wrinkled brow they’ll ask a similar question and I reply “piffle.” How hard can this be??
Now we wait to see if these young hens will start to lay, and then the real fun begins.