Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Retire. Live quietly. Raise chickens ...

It's a big deal here to watch the chickens. They love being out in the yard and looking up into the window, watching me watch them.

A friend commented on how much I am spending each month to feed them. Less than she spends on her dog's food and then on the vet bills. And there will be eggs. I am counting the days to when the hens should start laying. Five hens at one fifty-pound sack of organic crumbles per month at $23. And I don't have to use a can opener; no cans to recycle, just an empty paper bag when I reach the bottom.

To make it more efficient and easier on my back, my friends put a metal garbage can inside the run. There is a bungee cord on top to ensure the wind does not blow off the cover. The hanging feeder is suspended from a heavy duty hook screwed into a rafter. All I have to do is lean on my walker and swing the feeder toward the can, lift the plastic cone off the feeder, shovel the crumbles into the feeder, replace the cone, replace the metal cover.

Voltaire apparently never discovered the art and joy of raising chickens. He advised us all to live quietly and to garden. He didn't have a TV but he was missing out on the entertainment of chickens. I don't have a TV. These days there's lots of complaining about political ads. I think they are immoral, asking for financial donations. None of the political parties are charitable foundations. They don't do research to find cures for childhood cancers, for example. Nor do they feed people.

Why spend time and money on people fighting with each other? No need. All one has to do is make a few observations of the real life around you.

An egg is a real thing. There are three Wellsummer hens and two Rhode Island Red hens. They are even-tempered, calm, clean. One of the Wellsummer hens is a little bit larger than the others; she has the role of leader. She is out of the coop door first and is last in the coop at night. In fact, they will all go inside except for her. Then she will go in, but she comes out again. She dashes around the entire run, pauses, hops into the coop. In a moment she comes out again and repeats the sequence. If I come into the yard before they have all fallen asleep, she will pop out again.

It should all be worth it when I start gathering in all the chocolate-colored eggs.