- Pets and Animals»
It’s for the Birds-Tales of the Coop
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6. 26
I am a city boy, raised and bred. But I promised my spouse upon her return and my arrival to Hawaii, that she could once again pursue her passion for animals and their care. Yes, I said this in passing, but to have to construct a chicken coop? I reminded her that I was not Farmer John and this definitely was not “Green Acres”. She says in reply, “it may not be ‘Green Acres’, but it is Hawaiian Acres!” Well, the coop has been built and we obtained the chicks for this environment. I seemed to have some time on my hands so I spent a few minutes over several days watching the now grown chickens and 2 roosters interact. Remember, the only time that I have ever appreciated chicken was when it was associated with a KFC value meal or a visit to Popeye’s. I couldn’t make much of a fuss about the price of the little birds from the feed store; they were just a couple of dollars a piece. But, those damned roosters made so much noise in the morning, I thought for certain we were going to be paid a visit by the constable in regards to disturbing the peace. But, I haven’t heard of any zoning laws here, people have goats and such in their yards because they don’t want to be bothered cutting the grass. I have seen sheep as well. The coop, in a matter of weeks, was complete shrouded with Chayote squash vine. This can explain some of the strange and unfamiliar ingredients that I find in our soups, now and again, that my significant other prepares. This food plant is prolific and keeps fruit coming, all year. She says that we are in a veritable Eden and that the food that grows wild could sustain us in time of trouble. I don’t know, I still have a lot of faith in our local Safeway
My Chicken Coop-The Impregnable Fortress
We, my spouse and I, have had many discussions about the virtue of eggs from these chickens compared to those bought from the supermarket. For me, an egg is an egg, is an egg. She said that the eggs from the store were anything but fresh and have been sitting around for weeks, regardless of the freshness expiration dates. She asked me to participate in a challenge. She would fry one store bought eggs and an egg from one of our chickens. She invited me to eat each one and tell her which one I thought tasted better. While, I agreed to the test, I wanted to avoid taking too cavalier an attitude about this. God help me if I picked Brand X (the store bought egg) as there would be hell to pay! The egg that I selected was the egg from one our chickens, it had a fuller flavor, even if somewhat ‘gamey’ in taste.
The Feather is Quicker than the Eye
Ok, she won the challenge, now I had other mysteries to solve. I was positive that the coop was ‘hermetically sealed”, keeping the chickens from escaping and keeping the Xena, the Warrior Princess (our cat) and dogs away. The perforation holes as part of the chicken wire had very small diameters so that “I believed’ only insects could get in and out. Well, one morning, I saw 2 funny looking finches with red heads inside feeding on the seed corn. The next day there were larger birds, Japanese doves and cardinals, who managed to find a way both in and out of my ‘impregnable fortress’. I was beginning to feel a lot like “Colonel Klink”. These birds were feasting at my expense, eating my chicken feed paid for with my hard earned money! They ignored the chicken and rooster objections and helped themselves to the goodies. There is more than plenty of food, low hanging fruit, for these birds to eat outside. But, they all seem to have made up their little minds to partake of the choicest morsels, inside the coop. They all seem to communicate with one another in a network that rivals NBC. One of the little fellows learned how to get in. Once the word how to breach the barrier is out, they all seemed to be in the know. There was no stopping any of them short of vultures and buzzards as all manner of bird was getting in and partaking until there was no more want. They were getting out too; there were no bodies of the birds to be found in my little sanctuary. My wife says the ‘outsiders’ pay their toll with their enticing bird song. So, I try to move beyond my ‘skin flint’ instincts and resign myself to the reality that ‘this too will pass’
Closeup with Xena on the Watch
Building a Second Room-The chickens have come home to roost
Once the toil involved in building the first coop had past, now she, my spouse, wants to build an addendum to it. She says that the two male roosters will kill each other over who is to be the head rooster in the coop. She indicates that the solution is to create a separate coop for one rooster with 3 or 4 chickens to lord over. I just as soon get rid of the other rooster before being subject to another “honey do” for which there seems to be no escape. Why does all this remind me of Congress? But for now, the cat is getting lazy and has been gaining weight. Perhaps it is time to cut back on the tuna and ‘Tender Vittles’?
So what is the moral of this story? Think twice before you call someone a ‘bird brain’. They are a lot smarter than you think.