Let me start off this blog post by saying I may not be the best chicken mom in the world.  I love my chickens (they come and visit me in my office window in the mornings while I work), but they are a bit on the wild side.

My chickens are free range and we have over an acre for them to run around the yard.  I started out just feeding them chicken scratch and keeping them in a pen.  Let me tell you, the difference in the taste of the eggs since they roam and eat what they find is AMAZING.  We have put up a four foot poultry fence (mainly, I will admit, to try to herd the wee ones rather than the chickens – it works better on the wee ones than the chickens, too) but they just fly over it or walk around in gaps they have found.

However, within the last month they have decided our yard just wasn’t enough of a pecking ground for them.  They started out by going across the street into the woods.  They didn’t go very far in, though. And since they really don’t even go over there any longer I am going to assume they have a bit of brains and the snakes are starting to come out and play.

So, instead of the woods (which, come on, there would be plenty for them to eat there), they have been going across the street to our neighbor’s yard. The dad of the house and their teenage daughter have recently put in wooden flower bed borders and started what I call “prettifying” their yard.  (Mind you, I have nothing against the yard of the month crowd, it just isn’t my style.)  So he has been understandably not very happy about our nine chickens scratching around in his yard.

We had already decided, due to a very nasty neighbor who lives about three or four blocks from us who HATES our youngest dog (she calls him vicious, but seems to be the only one in our tiny little neighborhood who doesn’t absolutely adore him), to put up some kind of fence to keep our animals inside our yard.  This would also make it easier for delivery personel who aren’t familar with our big dogs (we have to pick amazon deliveries up at the post office because our mail man will not get out of his truck).  But we have had to really move up what we were going to do (Rogan is going to Michigan to present at a conference out of state on Weds) because while we were in Atlanta for my job this weekend, he told the teenager he was  going to put rat poison in his flower beds if we didn’t keep the chickens out of his yard.

We have been worried about the chickens bothering our neighbors.  Our teenage girls played together when we first moved here, and still chat occassionally (they are very conservative and when our teen started dying her hair wild colours and getting nose rings and such, it wigged the mom out a bit I think).  So we had sent the teen over about a week and a half ago to make sure the chickens weren’t bothering them.  The mom, who LOVES our dogs (they have two dogs of their own and several cats), said they were fine.  Teenager said she was kind of neutral about the chickens (thus, another notch in our post of people around here thinking we are totally off our rockers…wait till we get the goats *evil cackles*), but not at all bothered by their presence.

So, it just sent in a tail spin when I heard about what the dad had said while we were gone.  He is actually ok with poisoning our pets.  If the chickens eat the poison, it is possible our dogs or cats could get into it.

But, what really bothers me, is what if there is the slightest possibility of the poisoning transferring to their eggs and the eggs making the wee ones sick??!!  (Yes, that could be the postpartum depression anxiety talking, I don’t know.)

So, we bought some of the supplies we needed from Lowes and have started building a chain link fence around our whole @!#$$% yard.  (You should see me mixing and hauling the concrete for the posts in a wheel barrel, it’s kinda sexy…not)

Gives it quiet the prison feel, doesn’t it?  Maybe if I paint it purple, or something….