Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chicken Run

It used to feel odd when words like "harvest" and "cultivar" would roll off my tongue.

Now I'm picking up weird phrases like "coop training." I am proud to announce that chickens no longer live in my kitchen! If I complain about chicken smells permeating throughout my home, it's because of an extra-garlicky dinner. Yes, the girls have been living it up in a little red barn.

They've been out there a week, and we've mostly kept them confined. Maybe it's a little rude to keep them locked up, but it's better than a cardboard box, right? We're not quite finished with the coop building, there's still another door and window to cut and nesting boxes to build, but it's perfect for now. Throughout this coop training, however, we have occasionally let them out to peck the grass.

A few days ago, the bunch and I were gathered in the living room as the chickens enjoyed some late afternoon sunshine. Jonathan peeked through the glass doors and happened to notice just a couple chickens walking around. Maybe the others were laying down? Being blocked by their sisters? As he opened the door to check it out, those two scurried out of the open fence door.

Jonathan exclaimed: "I didn't leave it open!" Owen piped up: "I didn't leave it open! It was the wind. I saw it." Do you want to try to crack that case?

I asked Nathan to lace up his sneakers because we had free range chickens on our hands. I didn't figure they found the highway, but we worried they were somewhere annoying, like beneath the shed or in the cow pasture opposite a barbed wire fence. Ugh. Off we ran, clucking away {because they no longer peep}, looking for our lost and wandering hens.

My first instinct was the brush back behind the coop so I started in that direction. As I walked past the open coop door, however, something caught my eye. All missing chickens were in there. Some were snuggled together sunbathing in a small slant of light. A few more were eating and one was just looking at me like I was crazy. I exhaled. Good girls.

Coop Training Status: Success.

Although the fuzzball stage of chicken rearing was fun, I think the outside stage is even better. I'm so impressed by the work Jonathan did on the coop, and it appears the chickens are, too. They're officially home sweet home, and the finishing touches will be added in no time. Hopefully by this fall, the rent eggs will start rolling in.

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