Raising Chickens the Old Fashioned Way

Chicken fence
Image by mmatins via Flickr

You know, back in the day, chickens ran all over the farm, pooping everywhere they went, demolishing flower beds with all their constant digging and scratching.  They roosted over every gate on the farm, making opening them a “must wear gloves” experience.

They ran out in the road, they chased the neighbors as they walked by for exercise…oh wait, that was the two dogs and the baby goat chasing the walkers….

Well, anyway, remember when roosters would run after people, pecking at their pants legs, and begging to be either fed or picked up and carried around?

What about the hens that laid eggs in big piles, hidden from human view until one of them decided to get broody and set on about 40 of them?

Remember chicken poop on your nice church shoes and in your hair when you walked under one of their tree roosts?

Oh, well maybe you don’t remember.   Maybe you don’t remember, because maybe not EVERYBODY raised chickens like that….not even “back in the day.”  Probably at least some people had chicken coops, or pens, or tiny wire cages where the hens could sit and eat and drink and poop out eggs all day.

Well, anyway, chickens around here are being raised the “old fashioned” way because someone has been either too busy or too lazy to put up the electric net fencing correctly to confine the little peckers.

That someone, of course, would be me.  I decided I’d use their net to train the baby goats to electric mesh fencing, and it worked GREAT!  I didn’t want to use regular goat mesh fence for the smaller kids because the holes are just the right size to tempt little goats to try and put their heads through, and possibly become entangled in the electric fencing.  The chicken fence has very small holes, too small for baby goat heads to become trapped in them.

The chicken fence worked great, but now we’re really, really eager to put it to it’s proper “chicken use”.  The kids are graduating to “big goat” fencing very soon…if it works out.  They do have a healthy respect for the mesh and Ciara has been my “guinea goat” the last few days, coming down with me to milk.  I leave her on the outside of the fence, with the dog, and so far, she has not touched the fence or tried to go through it, so I’m thinking the others will behave similarly.

Ciara is 3 months old now and at 40 pounds is still the smallest goat on the property.  She has the biggest personality though!  I wish I could housetrain her.

Ciara, not cooperating with the camera...checking out Onyx's house, eating dirt, etc. She's 3 months old here and still a little tiny pip squeak.

I can’t housetrain my pet chickens either. I tried that once, for about a day.  It’s not possible.  So, they all have to stay outside, being raised the old fashioned way, although not for long, we’re about to get a little more “high tech” around here!

Great Saturday to you all.

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