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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Free Range

We might try chickens. As an introduction to livestock management and temporary alternative to goats. We celebrated the Fourth of July in Colbert (pronounced CALL-ber), two towns over, at the home of a colleague of Mr. Chalmers'—the crazy parade went right past her house as it wound through the narrow side streets on its way across the railroad tracks (pausing for a freight train to come through) to the main part of town. She keeps three or four hens, in a temptingly—and probably deceptively—simple set-up.

Just out of the frame: an extension cord, at the end of which is a big box fan
trained directly on the chickens; a small framed painting nailed to a tree; and
Christmas ornaments hung from the fence.

It's just a box on legs with a ramp up to it, a fence, a waterer, and straw. Apparently the chickens lay their eggs in the flower bed next to the front door of the house, as she lets them roam around during the day when she's at home. So far I only envision three problems in approximating this system at our place: hawks (I've seen several huge ones in the last few days), Wagner, and Cooper.

2 comments:

The Barefoot Baker said...

Don't those chickens know it's waaay past time to take down their Christmas ornaments?

Courtney said...

Another caveat: avian flu. A vet friend recommended I wait until next year, wait and see what happens with migrations, before acquiring chickens of my own. I figure that'll give me enough time to build a roost and get it properly decorated.