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When we moved to the homestead I had visions of many things: a prolific garden, gentle milking goats, and composting toilets (just kidding).
But I was mostly excited about getting chickens. We would have fresh, brown eggs and beautiful, feathered friends to entertain us when all the good TV is in its off-season. Our dog and the chickens would get along, and even have cute little moments where, ya know, he doesn't try to eat them. We would have a beautiful chicken coop filled with happy, healthy hens.
We have milking goats, but they're more interested in eating my hat than anything. We don't have eggs yet (that's ok), but we have discovered we've probably got a rooster. He's cool, but hasn't crowed yet. (Update: he's a rooster! He was a late bloomer, like Robin Williams in Hook.) We definitely have a dog who is obsessed with eating chicken poop (and all other animal poop). The chickens are more entertaining than this season of The New Girl. All in all, it's been an awesome, frustrating, fun mess.
And while we have happy, healthy hens, we definitely don't have that beautiful chicken coop.
I envisioned something like this – the Nantucket Coop from this site (where I go to envy things I don't have), fully wired with electricity and, like, a chicken massage parlor and oyster shell/grit bar.
But if I've learned anything from this homesteading experience so far, it's that things don't go as expected.
(Oh: and I've also learned that living in a rural area with no zoning codes or HOAs is FREAKING AWESOME.)
Because our “coop” looks more like a ramshackle converted shed (because that's what it is). We call it the Featherneck Country Club. (Actually, I just made that up.)
It's a resort-style country club with many amenities. Like a secured entry that deters would-be coop raiders and the band of rapscallions (aka stray dogs) that come around now and again, looking for trouble. We have a part-time security chicken, as well as plenty of shade adjacent to chicken-friendly flooring that's perfect for a good afternoon scratch-n-peck.
I know. You can feel the class wafting over you.
(FYI: we just bought an automatic chicken door that we'll install soon.)
Allow me to tell you more about the amenities at the Featherneck Country Club.
For the most important chickens, we feature a gated community with a pool, a lounge area, and a very attentive pool boy.
To ensure the chickens' safety, we have equipped the area surrounding the Featherneck Country Club with a foolproof security system that keeps would-be sky predators at bay. (Unlike my dog and most Real Housewives, apparently hawks don't like shiny things.)
Bonus: we've finally found a use for our old Nickleback and Eve 6 CDs.
And because I am dedicated to providing a safe place for my patrons and their friends to have a good time, we have this combination party decoration/shiny security “disco ball” (yes, I bought that and made my husband hang it to further deter hawks) to ensure a safe environment in which to “get your cluck on.”
And finally, because my hard work to set this up apparently means nothing to you, dear chickens, you can simply make use of the vast expanse of bug-filled land outside your bunker. Because that's the point of all this, anyway, right?
So…what do you think of the Featherneck Country Club? (Somebody tell me I'm still a normal human person. Please.)
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