I have been loving having chickens. Somehow we are working through our 12 eggs a day. Eggs for dinner, eggs for breakfast, crepes on the weekend, and now homemade pasta are on our weekly meal rotation. Plus I do a little baking every week for school lunches. If I were a millionaire, the first thing I would do to save the world would be to hire a private chef to do all my baking. It is a task that is much too precise and rarely forgives me for my sloppiness. The amount of utensils that are needed to measure ingredients for a lousy batch of muffins is unreal. But I do it for the children. I am one altruistic dame.
Our chickens have a very good life here. We think our chickens won the chicken lottery when they came to live with us. They range free, eat organic feed and compost, they are treated with respect, we always value their opinion on world politics, and they can have their friends over whenever they please providing they go to bed at a reasonable time. The only rule we impose is that they don’t sneak out at night and get eaten by a coyote. And they should never, on any occasion, invite a coyote into their coop, even if the coyote is dressed like a really nice, old, grandmother with candy. Well, maybe if they get fooled by that old trick they deserve to get eaten. No, no I was wrong even think that. They just need to follow the rules.
We’ve had to add a few more rules as of late. Our chickens were getting a little out of hand. I had noticed that they were venturing out further and further away from their coop. They made it to the driveway, and then to the other side of our building. I was happy they were being so adventuresome. Then I noticed my flowers went missing. The plants were still there but all the flowers had been eaten from my containers. Then all my flowers were gone from my small patch of garden. Now I am no gardener, as my mom always did that for me. I worked hard this year to weed and water my few plants. It was all for naught after the chickens got to them. Once my flowers were gone, the chickens started to cross the road to Bob’s house.
Bob’s gardens are spectacular. Our chickens aren’t idiots. They knew exactly where to go to get a good flowery meal. They would take their time crossing the street. Cars would screech and honk in irritation of our chickens’ foray. I would have to run out and chase the chickens back to our house. Some of those chickens are fast little runners, especially the white ones. More than once, I would find myself running full tilt down our road after one of my white feathery friends and not be able to close the gap between us. It was never my coolest moment, and obviously not my fastest.
Sometimes I would return home from an errand and find all 12 chickens perched on the rail to my front door. They would cluck happy expecting a treat, and I would shoo them away.
In the end, we have had to fence them in. They still have a large area to eat bugs and do what chickens do best. They haven’t noticed or complained. Their union representative did stop by the other day, but it was just for a cup of tea.
We have been collecting only 11 eggs these days. I was going to bring it up to the union rep but I felt awkward as she is such a nice chicken lady. Ten of the eggs are of normal size and one is always enormous. So we’ve got one slacker and one over achiever. How do we solve this chicken mystery? Our town is too small to have chicken police, let alone undercover cops. Our chickens are too tight of a group to expect any of them to rat each other out. I’m thinking about dressing Ruby up as a friendly chicken and leaving her in the coop for a few days to investigate. My only concern is that she will like it and not want to come back into the house.
I think it’s a gamble I am willing to take.
Oh and let us not forget about this…
You better come out to the show or I will get my chickens to eat you. Oh I mean eat your flowers.