Or: Why the Chickens Cross the Road
Finally I get to say it for the final time: I told you so.
When she first insisted WE would have chickens, she also insisted they would live across the creek and we would build the chicken pen onto the side of the barn.
I suggested that might not be a good place since all the rain and snow from the barn roof would bugger up the enclosure. But we used some left-over chain-link fence from the dog pen out back, and it has lasted for some years. Until this week.
Sunday this massive snow finally did some serious buggering. The chain link fence was crushed under many hundred pounds of wet snow that had piled deep on the roof and finally let go–as you see not so well in this picture. The fencing and support rails are sufficiently damaged that we will not rebuild it; Â the birds meanwhile will not have a barrier to keep them out of the mouths of local wildlife.
Yesterday, in deep slushy snow, we managed to stuff the two birds into a wire cage and take them to our neighbor, who was glad to have them and has an excellent henhouse, empty of laying hens since a weasel visited a few months back.
Do you know how fine a wire you have to put up to keep a weasel from having chicken for dinner!? Their bodies are long slinkies with a mouth full of teeth at one end. (You might take a brief look at this Wikipedia image for a comparison between the rabbit (the food) and white phase least weasel (the feeder.)
Come spring, I will lobby for no birds at all, and she (who for reasons I cannot explain to you seems in such matters to hold at least 51 of the corporate stock here) will insist we WILL TOO have them but will agree to make a place for them on this side of the road next to the garden shed.
I know when I’m licked, so if we must have them, I like the idea that we can make a door into the garden space from their pen, and early and late in the gardening year, turn them in to take care of insects and weed seeds.
OTOH, I suppose we might as well let the weasels know when we’re in business, because the hawks, foxes, coyotes, black snakes and wandering dogs are already wondering when dinner is served.