Monday, September 25

Extra drumsticks?

A Pennsylvania chicken farmer (rancher?) discovered that one of his birds has 4 legs. Only two legs work; the other two drag along behind. The most telling aspect of this discovery is that the bird is 18 months old. Yup, her extra legs are just now being noticed. How did that happen? Well, this fellow has thirty six thousand chickens. I wonder how much room they each have?

My five birds have the luxury of a backyard 60'x75'. Do a lot of fancy calculations and you'll see that if those Quaker State chickens have the equivalent yardage, then that farmer would have 1.1 square miles of chicken runs. Does anyone want to bet that those 36,000 birds are free-range?

My neighbor
who rents the basement apt next door came over the other day, first time she's come to my door. We've talked on the sidewalk a few times in a friendly way, waved hello, that sort of thing. First understand that her landlady is an uber gardener and there is a delightful and massive hedgerow of roses, clematis, flowering quince, rhodies, forsythia, etc between our yards. And a fence. So she came over all concerned to ask me if I had gotten chickens (why, yes) and did I realise that they were loose? Loose! Where? In my backyard of course, where they belong. Relieved that they hadn't escaped, I offered to have her meet the girls. She did, in a tentative sort of way, admitting that she's afraid of chickens. And she got all concerned that her cats might hurt them. I laughed and said that was not an issue, these birds could take care of themselves with a cat. But it got me thinking.... What if it were an issue?

I mean, here I am with my pets all securely contained in my backyard, not off pooping and killing in other folks' yards. If her free roaming cats were a danger to them, what would she expect to happen?

4 comments:

Lavendersheep said...

I just love chickens. My mother raised barred rocks when I was in my teens. They were so tame that they would come when my mother called them.

Patti said...

I keep my cats in. I get so disgusted with the neighbor cats pooping in my yard! And grabbing birds from my feeder - right off my front porch once. grrrrr
I hope her cats leave your chickens alone.

Dorothy said...

Patti,
one of the best things about having the chickens is that they will keep cats from using my yard as a litterbox. I've cried when I realised the strawberries and greens were all a loss. would you eat fresh things grown in catshit?

of course the chickens leave their own messes. If I grow food again I will have to arrange something. But still better than the cats!

Dorothy said...

Read this entry for ideas on how to manage the messes the chicken leave behind. She's pretty entertaining and informative about her chickens.