On the afternoon of September 6th we disassembled the chicken coop (don’t build a coop with a green roof if you need to move it) and helped move it to it’s new home with a nice lady who love animals and wants to stop participating in the chicken-machine. I followed the new owner of the hens and coop to her house and watched the heads of the nervous (and panting) chickens in the back of her wagon. The comical lift of the head, quick turn, and slight movement of the comb as it catches up was always one of my favorite things about the animals. Besides the eggs of course.
Over the summer, we had been compiling a list of pros and cons, mostly around 5am when I was going outside to throw them some scratch to keep them quiet. I had tremendous guilt about the noise they made, mostly because they were so close to the neighbor’s bedroom window. And the neighbor liked to keep late hours.
Anyway, here’s a list of the pros and cons, possibly for consideration for other folks:
- Funny pets
- Wonderful, wonderful eggs
- Eat kitchen scraps
- The funny cocked-head look through the basement window at the TV
- Emergency food source
- I’m sure there’s more
- The ecosystem that develops around the mess (flies, mice, rats, possums
- Getting woken up during the night by attempts made by predators
- The noise
- Guilt associated with the noise (Andy only)
- Getting up at 5am to feed them to keep them quiet, because the neighbors just went to bed an hour ago
- Occasional escapes meant a back yard disaster
- Loss of yard space and vegetation
- I’m not sure the whole fertilizer thing actually ever works
The funny thing is that Michelle had been listening to me complain about them all summer (literally bolting out of bed at 5am, cursing them) so she was certain I’d want rid of them. Unbeknownst to her, I’d actually decided to try an make it another year with them at the same time she’d put them on craigslist. The coop of course is so self-evidently awesome that they got snatched up immediately. I was kind of shocked by the whole thing and was kind of moody for a day or two, though Michelle is the one who actually cried when they drove away.
Now, a couple weeks later, I don’t think either of us regrets the decision much. Michelle found a source for eggs, and I’m less irritable at 5am, though with the darkening sky, it’s been more like 6am. We’re still not entirely certain what we’re going to do with the surprisingly large area they’d taken over, but come next year, the soil will probably be ready to go.