|To the left, note craters left by dust-bathing chickens. The scattered rocks used to be|
under the drip line. Bottom right is supposed to be a little morning glory bed.
The chickens are really my husband’s and daughter’s pets, but I am wholly in favor of having them. We all like the idea of free-range chickens chasing down bugs and greenery. Their pen, dubbed “Gitmo,” was built with incarceration/protection in mind after dog depredations. However, 10 to 12 chickens make short work of any living organism in an enclosed space. Not a blade of grass survives in their pen, and any self-respecting bug long ago emigrated. We felt sorry our little darlins’, confined all day to such a barren place, so my husband began letting them out to roam.
I have fumed over the free-range chicken problem for months. I debated giving up on gardening (awww), weed-whacking everything (drastic), opening up my husband’s vegetable garden gate (entirely too mean). My sweet husband has tried to help, by putting poultry wire over a few beds. For birdbrain critters, chickens are remarkably adept at getting around such obstacles.
The iris bed seems to have exploded onto the sidewalk,
courtesy of you-know-who.
Over breakfast the next day, I asked that the chickens be kept penned, except for a few hours in the evening. Gardening is my thing, I said, but every time I went outside to do my thing I became angry, and that’s not really how one’s thing should make one feel. We agreed to build a prison yard for the chickens so that they would have more room to roam. Two postholes have been dug so far (no mean feat in limestone country).
Dan and I try very hard to accommodate each other’s interests, hence my long fume over asking him to contain the chickens. Figuring out how to live together peacefully while pursuing our own (sometimes conflicting) activities can be challenging. But we’ve been working at this co-existence for 25 years (as of March 22). No flock of featherheads will get the better of us!
Time to garden!
Favorite spot in the garden: