Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Little Chicken Story

Well, it sounded like a good idea when we first discussed it. We would have fresh eggs daily from our cute little chickens and let them FREE RANGE. We would be eating so healthy!

We've changed our minds.

Those 'used-to-be-cute' chickens had 14 acres to wander to their hearts' content and wouldn't you know it, they decided to torment me by staying within 20 yards of my front door. They dug in my flower beds every few minutes and left their calling cards all over the front porch, walkway and drive. We couldn't walk anywhere without stepping in it.

No, it was a bad idea, a very, very bad idea.

I told my husband that we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies and something really needed to be done with the chickens. I was embarrassed to have visitors! But he has his own list of priorities...
Well, about a week ago, those nasty, nasty birds discovered the garden. Now the garden is my husband's pet project. No ones messes with his garden, not even chickens. When he found his precious cucumbers and watermelons being eaten up he decided something needed to be done with those gluttonous creatures.

I secretly gave a sigh of relief.

They are now 'contained' in a large fenced area. Thanks to GOOGLE, I spent the last two days clipping their wings so they couldn't fly over the sides.

I'm giddy with satisfaction.

PS. (For all of you folks who are just dying to move out to the country and 'live off the land,' it's really hard work!)


  1. Teresa12.10.08

    LOL! Thank you for this story, Lindafay. We live on one acre and used to long for a "real" farm. (Not that we wouldn't take one if it worked out) but have figured out that if we can't make the farming work on one acre how will we be able to do it with many acres. Anyway, i used to feel guilty that we had our chickens in a movable chicken tractor, wouldn't it be better for them to be really free range? Then our neighbor got chickens that were REAL free range. Where did they end up? My driveway which is at my front door, and all over my back deck!!! :o) Life is never boring on a farm.

  2. We also have an acre and have had chickens over the years....never again will ANY kind of bird have free range on my land!

    I have to laugh when people assume that "free range" means "healthy" eating for chickens. If they only knew what they ate! One morning I was collecting eggs in our henhouse and saw a mouse in the nest box. Not to worry, a quick hen caught him and between her and another, that mouse was quickly torn apart and eaten.

    Another time we had had a calf die and I buried it not quite deep enough in the garden and the flies had found it and the ground an inch below the surface was a moving mass of maggots. Not to worry, 20 chickens spent an hour scratching and fuiously pecking the ground until their gullets were about to burst and I didn't have to worry about new flies hatching.

    Thanks, I'd rather eat grain-fed chickens!

  3. I'm glad your chickens are back behind bars!
    About it being hard never saw any overweight farmers!

  4. Anonymous12.10.08

    You've helped me SO much. Finally here is something I might be able to help you with...If you still want to have free-range chickens but without the something called a chicken tractor. My friends made one. It's a movable cage on wheels they simply move to a different part of the yard each day. You pick where you want it! The added bonus is that your acres get a natural fertilizer as well.
    I grew up on a farm and have always laughed when people talked about desiring free-range chickens. I knew about the mess they leave! But now that I have seen a chicken tractor (ducks too) I am SO for free-range chickens! You'll save quite a bit on feed as well as be more nutritious.
    Many Blessings,

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, did the unfortunate situation with another blogger copying yours get all taken care of? I've been praying for that gal and for you regarding the situation.

  5. Anonymous12.10.08

    Yes, it's hard work. Instead of clipping wings, I had my husband put a chicken wire roof over our large chicken yard. We had too many hawks and eagles in the area for an open pen to protect them. When I let them free range, they did the same as yours, dug up all the flower beds and pooped on the front porch. Plus the coyotes and racoons liked eating them too much.

  6. Well,
    That's good to know!
    We've been thinking about getting chickens for a while now, but luckily, my mom refuses to have any until my dad builds "a cute coop."
    p.s. I love the lovely new header!

  7. lol Thanks for the giggle. And that's exactly the kind of hard work I want to live with. We're praying for land and a home. :O)

  8. We only have a city lot and three hens, but I can so relate to this! Unfortunately they haven't bothered anything my husband is too concerned about yet- maybe if they got into his shop!

  9. We experienced the same thing! They were driving me nuts! And, it was ultimately the eating the garden that got hubby convinced to finish of the containment. That, and finding eggs in places that we would never regularly find them.

  10. Ha Ha. I guess I'm not the only one who has tried 'free ranging.' I enjoyed all your stories and advice.

    Holly, I learned about a chicken tractor a few months ago. I like the idea, myself, but my husband is VERY frugal and refuses to buy the necessary materials to make it when we have a perfectly good coop and yard. They are still sort of free ranging because the chicken yard really is huge. That's why we can't put wire over the top. (We don't have any scrap wood.)

    We also have too many roosters-about ten. So this month we need to kill 8 of them. I'm not looking forward to this. We did it when I was a kid and I remember the day VIVIDLY.

    I really only wanted about six hens and a small garden, but my DH does everything LARGE. I've spend the last 20 years learning to be flexible. :) Can anyone relate?

  11. Anonymous15.10.08

    I know this is morbid but, I always enjoyed the time of year we "prepared chickens for the freezer." We'd do about 40 at a time, and it was a big family event. Several neighbors would come to help. The family/neighbor togetherness is probably why I look back at it so fondly.
    I'm surprised your roosters haven't taken care of the job all by themselves. Ten in the same confinement? I bet they are doing some serious "pecking order."
    Ah, rooster. I wish I had one. My favorite alarm clock is the natural sound of a rooster. I also love to be lulled to sleep to the sound of frogs...but that's another subject.
    Happy feather plucking! Your going to be doing a lot of that. LOL.
    Many Blessings,

  12. Anonymous12.11.08

    Hi I just happened by your blog today. Very first visit from the blog awards. I absolutely love the chicken story. We tried a very similar thing but our chickens enjoyed the trees. So at night if the kids were playing you might get bombarded by a dropping chicken. I didn't even realize they did that. I'll be back I enjoyed spending time here today.


  13. I can also relate! I thought it would be great to have our seven free range......they are BEASTS! They ate everything in the garden, and I'm tired of walking in their poo! Their favorite spot is our back porch...which has to be washed off constantly...I'm also embarressed to have guests over. My husband to spend the weekend improving their run to keep them enclosed. Regrets! We have seven, but only find three egss...found a nest hidden the other's a bit much now!