Backyard chickens are all the rage these days. Articles and stories about how to tuck a hen or ten into your city yard are popping up like eggs at Easter. A good number of these are written by people who seem to still believe in the Easter Bunny and the Good Fairy (you know, that magical creature that trims your perfect lawn with manicure scissors at night while you sleep).
Out here in our Northern California city yard, we’ve become a tad snarky about these publications when they come our way. There’s a good bit of snorting tea up our noses while trying to drink and read about how easy it is to pop a couple of hens in your beautiful yard. Heck, why not more? The major hatcheries will send you 25 little fuzz balls faster than you can say “the sky is falling”.
They’ll just scratch daintily and poop politely where you put out your little “fertilize here signs”, right?
When our little birds arrived, I had grand plans for a cute little fence that would indicate the Mason-Dixon Line between their yard and mine.
The hens saw this as a cute purple hurdle, appropriate for daily calisthenics. Didn’t even need to flap their clipped wings very hard.
I have fond memories of fresh Kale right from the garden.
Then there was the drip irrigation disaster that launched my first entry in a Link Party.
After Mr. Hen Songs started referring to Henny and Penny as “The Little Terrorists” we knew it was time to put some thought into this backyard venture.
Of course chickens take some work, just like any other pet. I am still convinced that we can live in peace and harmony with these miniature T-Rex and our lovely, bucolic yard.
This is day one – I’m still tempted to send a picture to Sunset Magazine, along with a second picture after the girls have had their way with the whole area for a couple of days. Reality checks are a good thing every now and then.