09 January 2013

Little Hen House

Hercules enjoying a reminder of home.
Though we've been dislocated from our country home for nearly a month now, there are still a few pleasures I enjoy that remind me of home.  Every morning I get up and go take care of and train Stoney and Dancer.  It's wonderful being able to go to the barn every day and enjoy a little bit of nature and solitude.  But before I even roll out of bed, my alarm clock sounds:
Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk-ba-GAWK!

Earlier this year, my mom, one of the crazy chicken ladies, decided to get a few laying hens to keep in her yard since Clay was no longer around.  She carefully poured over books and selected the most desirable breeds, sent in orders and visited every feed supply store for chicks (and got a little carried away, so we ended up with a few).  After hand raising them for a couple of weeks, their little hen house, smack dab in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, was complete and they were moved outside.
Lots of places are now allowing some rural habits to intertwine with city living.  Hosts of major cities have vast community gardens and allow laying hens and beehives within their limits.  Even our goats, Alice and Tawny went to live in someone's fenced backyard in Des Moines.  If I was ever forced to live in the city limits again, I would set up a mini-farm, complete with bees, milk goats, laying hens and a vast garden in a heartbeat.
The backyard flock is eclectic--everything from brown leghorns to barred rocks to australorps and each girl has a name, the ones like "Taco" and "Punzle" thanks to the grandkids.  Though they're spoiled hens, they still act like regular old farm chickens.
The girls find entertainment staring into our house as much as we enjoy looking out at them.
Jack might not enjoy waking up to a clucking hen sitting in the nesting box, but it makes my mornings happier.

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