Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chicken Story Sans Moral

There are, at times, things that should have seemed a lot more obvious from the beginning. We get comfortable in our own spaces and overlook that there are other spaces out there.
The portable chicken coop is an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while now. I built it last fall, and last week, hitched the tractor up to it and hauled it on its maiden voyage. From one side of the raspberry field to the other. All of 150 feet.
The portable chicken coop replaces the old rotten, moldy, possum infested death trap chicken coop, and it seems to be working out just fine. The chickens, at least, seem happy. That’s all that any of us really want, anyway. A home. A hearth. A place that makes us feel warm and secure.
What didn’t occur to me, and this, as I say, should have been a lot more obvious from the beginning, is that I am of a culture and generation that equates a sense of home with a structure. Any one in a series of domiciles,that's where I live now. Then I'll live someplace else. Chickens equate home with a specific place, and the structure there-on is secondary.
Thus we had eighty chickens all clustered around an empty space last night, and a completely vacant chicken coop on the other side of the field.
I’d have thought they’d go right over to the chicken coop when I threw some grain down onto the ground. No. They ate the grain and then went "home." I thought they’d waddle over to their old familiar nesting poles as soon as it got dark. No.
We’d carry one or to of them to the coop, and go back for more. The chickens, meanwhile, had jumped out of the coop and followed us "home." It was getting dark and the chickens were starting to freak. All I could think to do was to park the van where the coop used to be. All the chickens immediately jumped in and went to sleep. We then picked them up one by one and carried them to the portable coop. And shut the door. And didn’t open it again until we had a fence up.


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