Friday, January 6, 2012

Chickens are my neighbors

 Every so often, I leap at the chance to take care of my neighbor's chickens.  My job is to open the little door you see in the background.  It slides up and hooks there all day while the chickens are out.  They need to be able to come and go to access their food and water, and also to lay eggs.

Chickens coming out in the morning.

The light red chicken made it her job to run out first. As I opened the door, she would leap out and then leap back inside.

One gray, rainy morning, when she came out and ran right back in, they all stayed inside. She had indicated to them that it was a cold, hostile, wet world.  All I understood her to "say" sounded like wonderful throaty clucking noises.  I had never really known how satisfying the sound of clucking is.  When you read the word "clucking" in a book, it doesn't make clear how soft the sound is.  It is most engaging.
If the light red chicken liked what she saw, I could hear immediate thumping noises which is how they sound flying down from their perch.

Deciding what to do and collecting some seeds.

Picking up a few seeds and grubs on the way to the garden.

One time the light red chicken brought everyone outside, and then went back in.  I sat with my cat for about  5 minutes.  When she came out again, I opened the big door and collected her freshly laid warm egg.  I had that one for breakfast.

Cleaning up the garden, an all day job.
Our neighbors have the most clever arrangement for their chickens.  The fencing leads into the garden which is where they spend most of their day eating seeds and grubs.  Admirable work for a chicken who in turn, lays the most wonderful eggs.  After a day of messing around, they lay gold.  Then I go and close their door.  They go inside by themselves and wait for me to come and close the door to protect them for the night.

I get paid in eggs and it is truly a fair trade.


  1. Good Morning,

    I am wondering if you haven't thought of starting your own coop. Perhaps then you would need to have a garden to go with it? Or would the cats not be able to get used to it (without eating the contents??)

  2. Oh my goodness, I love this post. I am dying to try my hand at raising chickens. In our area you have to have at least 3 acres to be allowed chickens so when we buy a house we hope to acquire some land too. Your neighbors chickens are so nice looking!