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© 2019 Nathan Invincible Miller

Chickens

Chickens are hilarious.  They eat nearly everything, dig around constantly, have an Invincible attitude, and make free food.  They're the perfect farm animal!

I would almost say chickens are easy to raise, but I would say they're medium-easy.  We've had chickens for a lot of years, and for the first few seasons they enjoyed free ranging around the yard.  They gobbled up bugs, helped mow the grass, ripped up big holes in search of dust to bathe in, and played chicken football with snacks we threw to them.  They also were getting eaten by just about everything: coyotes, foxes, wolves, hawks, neighbor dogs, and occasionally a skunk would try to get in on the action.  We always figured that if we lost a chicken or two to predators in a season, that was the price they all paid for having as great of a chicken life as you possibly could offer.

Until the weasels arrived.  Twice our flock was 100% destroyed by these bloodthirsty demons, all for a lap of blood.  Talk about a kick in the chicken teeth.  To combat the weasels, growing hawk threat, and coyotes that had learned where the larder was, we had to fence in a run outside of our chicken coop and harden our defenses to keep out all hungry wildlife.  The chickens honestly don't know they're cooped up because their concept of freedom is not quite there, but to me it feels a little like a zoo.  On the plus side, we haven't lost any chickens to predators since 2018 and we're still getting tasty eggs.  I throw them a handful of "greeny-greens" (grass) every day so they can get a taste for what they're missing.  It's the best part of every chicken's day.