4 Tips for Keeping Chickens
We’ve decided to work with the “5 tips” formula for another 4 posts to make a total of 5 posts with a descending number of tips to rethink or hasten that move to your country paradise. We hope this will either help you in your path towards a weirder existence, or turn you off so you can avoid the slightly feral path we have chosen.
The choice is yours.
In the last post of this nature, Emily guided you through the perils of living in a caravan, and explained certain things that we feel are now essential to our sanity. This post is going to explain to you why chickens are in fact the leading arseholes of any farm.
First of all, we love our chickens, and we couldn’t imagine a life without their presence now. They obviously possess a lot of traits and behaviors that we humans, in all our self-interest, find desirable. However, this seems to be all anyone will ever tell you about … the positives. I am here to assure you that keeping chickens is not all eggs and free earthworks.
There is a dark side…
1. Dealing With Garden Decimation
Want to grow your own produce and keep FREE RANGING chickens at the same time? Good luck, seriously.
Either you keep your chickens locked up in a maximum security run as though they were society’s worst criminal offenders, or say goodbye to the vegetables you thought you were going to have on your plate in the near future.
I have secured raised garden beds with so much wire and netting I myself have trouble getting inside of it. The chickens don’t seem to have this problem. Seemingly materialising through any solid object, I can walk away from a virtual gardening Fort Knox only to return 5 minutes later to find a chicken ruining the seedlings that we just planted.
Take up Zen meditation, and just tell yourself that at least your vegetables will now be converted into eggs. Or throw something large into something solid…and swear…a lot.
2. Living With Chicken Shit
Once again, I refer to the method by which we keep chickens. That being that we are apparently living in their space, and not the other way around.
Sure, chook poo makes an excellent fertiliser, but how much do you really need? So much that seemingly every step taken around your doorstep is like walking through a war torn city filled with ready to detonate land mines? No, I didn’t think so.
Buy shoes that you can hose off…regularly.
3. Co-habitating With a Rooster: The Biggest Arsehole in the Chicken Yard
We both like getting a solid 8 hours of sleep. Well, we did, and then we decided to keep a rooster rather than turning into a curry.
Oblivious to any sense of time, and clearly concerned that we may forget that he is still in the chicken run, we are alerted to his presence at 4 in the morning…and then 5 in the morning…and then 6…and then 7, when the sun is actually coming up. I guess he needs a long warm up before the main event, so to speak.
Throw out your alarm clock, or locate your rooster well and truly away from your residence…preferably to another farm, or a deep freezer.
4. Coming to Terms With the Chooks’ “What’s Yours, Is Mine” Policy
Chickens are in no way aware of personal space and boundaries (refer to points number 1 & 2 for further reading). Chickens will shadow you like a stalker, intent on taking away your sense of freedom and dignity. Your car, your home, the shower, the toilet…if you have been in it, they must need to be in there too.
You are never alone when you own chickens, and they never go away…much like herpes.
Despite all of the potential negatives, you do get wonderful eggs out of these inconsiderate and pushy bastards. We’ve decided that this outweighs all of the negatives associated we’ve found to be associated with them.
If all else fails, own a sharp axe.