I was talking to a friend about Gregg’s chickens the other day. I was telling her that its going to be difficult to go out of town this summer (or ever). We’ll have to find someone to babysit the chickens while we’re gone. Babysitting these chickens involves scheduling your day according to the sun. At (or at least near) sunrise, the chickens need to be let out of their coop, fed, and watered. At sundown, the chickens need to be fed and watered again, and they need to be rounded up back into their coop for safe-keeping during the night. (It will also involve collecting eggs in about two to three months. I can’t wait for this part!) This rounding up business is not as easy as it sounds. Gregg finally figured out that if he pours the chicken food directly into their coop, this is the best way to get them where they need to go. Herding chickens. I helped him herd once. It wasn’t pretty. Largely because we didn’t have any food to herd them with. Also, the herding beam more like me chasing, and them running in the opposite direction of where I wanted them to go. Also, Gregg and I both had ideas of how we should be herding, and I thought my idea was better than his and vice versa. You know how those conversations go. Now, when I go with him to take care of the chickens, I just sit back and knit or read. Its better this way, and he’s such a good chicken-herder now, he doesn’t need help.
So, when I told my friend about the chickens, she laughed. Not in a a cruel way at all, just in a oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-you-have-so-many-chickens way. She laughed because the idea of having chickens is funny to people. Its not the norm. The fact that my husband is a chicken farmer has become normal to me. I forget that its out of the ordinary for your life and time to be affected by 200 birds.
Maybe I should put out a want-ad for this chicken-sitter.
Something more like this:
Must love eggs, birds, sunrises, sunsets. Must be able to scare off foxes, dogs, hawks, and other birds of prey. Must be immune to frustration that inevitably comes with chicken herding.