Saturday, July 25, 2009
When the Chickens Cross the Road
I need to go on record first by stating that I am not a fan of chickens. Our neighbors across the street have tried to raise them off and on since we moved in here. There have been some tragedies. As the Animal Control officer told me, “Raising chickens in this town is like opening up a deli for foxes and coyotes.” Still, our neighbors have persevered, building an enclosure around their henhouse that looks like something out of Swiss Family Robinson.
We have a sweet deal going. We give them compost, and they supply us with all the organic, free range eggs that we can eat. As part of the free range claim, they let the chickens out to roam for a few hours each day. It turns out that the chickens like to eat the ticks. So, when they started crossing the road to visit our yard, we weren’t going to chase them away.
Little did I know that I was going to be charmed by the rooster. I admit that I’ve fallen in love. We call him “The Chief”, and he really knows how to keep his girls safe and in line. If one of the hens strays to our driveway or the backyard, the Chief runs right over and pushes her back where he can keep an eye on her. He always waits to be the last one to cross the road, making sure that there are no stragglers. If the girls start to argue over a tasty morsel, he steps in and breaks it up. And did I mention what a handsome guy he is?
So, now I know why the chickens cross the road, and I’m very glad that they do. All hail the Chief!