i was going to give this post a very dramatic title.
i was going to post about several different things.
i was going to take care of some loose ends here that i have wanted to write about and haven’t gotten around to.
but then last night we had a knock at our door.
and that turned everything upside down.
in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a crisis.
in the big picture, it wasn’t a big deal at all.
and as much as i would like to strike the perfect balance here between dramatic prose and healthy life perspective, i know i will fail miserably.
should i just cut to the bottom line already instead of leaving you in suspense?
the people who live in front of us, on the property directly adjacent to us (it is basically one large parcel of land and we both have houses on it and we just *know* where we both live…), came over to inform us that, beginning today (this was at about 8pm last night) they would like our chickens to stay off of their property. practically speaking, there is absolutely no way the chickens can free-range if we respect this new rule.
here’s why this is a huge, HUGE, problem: the front of our house is a small space consisting of a concrete driveway, a tiny patch of bamboo (filled with thorny blackberry canes- and you’ll understand why this matters in a second, and a strip of dirt under the bedroom windows right against the house. the back yard is pretty huge, but is where the dogs roam around, and to fence off an area well enough to be husky-proof would be cost-prohibitive. since the husky has killed chickens in the past (9, if you are the type who likes to know these things), it is not just a theoretical possibility that she would fight pretty darn hard to break down a barrier to get at the chickens. super stressful for the chickens, and not so nice for the owner of the husky either (that would be *h).
so, this leaves us in kind of a no-win situation.
we have nowhere in front to fence in an area for the chickens to roam around. i don’t see keeping chickens who have to live their entire lives in a coop, and there is not really a way to extend our coop so the chickens could even get sun or more fresh air. our coop was never intended as a place for the chickens to live, but just as a place for them to sleep, so it really isn’t big enough for them all to be happy and comfortable. we can’t give them the bamboo thicket because of the blackberry issue (oh, and also because the bamboo grows like 10 feet a second and is perpetually out of control…). we can’t put them on the dirt strip under the bedroom windows because that would mean the people in the bedrooms couldn’t open their windows and they would have no ventilation (not a realistic option since those rooms all get super stuffy). we’re trying to puzzle out ideas for the concrete, but none seem do-able.
today the chickens were under house arrest and i feel terrible every time i look at them. i completely project feelings and thoughts onto them that are probably not there, and i imagine that they are miserable wondering why they are all cooped up. i have given them lots of extra-special food today, but i couldn’t even look them in the eyes when i was feeding them.
i feel like a total scumbag.
i know someone who might want them, but i keep putting off calling him, thinking that maybe i will have some sort of epiphany about how i can make it work to keep them and i won’t have to give them away.
meanwhile they are stuck in the coop and i am being irresponsible by not making arrangements for them to have a new and better home and i am pretty much condemning them to yet another day in the coop tomorrow because i am too lame to face reality.
so, this might be what it’s really come to.
just the other day, i was walking around outside looking at all of the garden beds, and the chicken coop, and thinking about a goat (yes, again) and i had such a sense of pride and contentment for this little mini micro urban farm-ish thing that i am slowly building up… and here it is a few days later and it is maybe crumbling…
a few steps forward and a few steps back…
and more sighing…
maybe that epiphany really will hit, but for now i am trying to think about whether i should start writing down all of the biographical data on each chicken for the new owner, or whether that is crazy chicken-lady stuff and maybe the new owner should just get to know them and they should have a fresh start…
i’m definitely not bringing my best thinking skills into this entire situation right now.
what would you do if they were your chickens?