Animal Tracking

It was right around sundown. I heard the chickens making such a fuss; squawking and flapping about like mad women in the back of the pen. When i went out there they were all facing northeast with their necks stretched long and their feathers poofed out. I went to the area they were staring at …

First Freeze of the Year

After our catastrophic winter storm this spring i figured winter would bring more of the sort but it didn’t. It was the first warm weather halloween i could remember and we didnt have a single hard freeze until the first day of the next year. I saw the forecast a week in advance so i …

The Drone

I’m so angry. I was winding down for the night, just doing my evening chores. I was on my little two acres in the middle of nowhere. There’s nothing around me but ranch land, a dollar general, and a gas station. My property is surrounded by a ring of cedars and then just woods and …

A Howling Wind and a Full Moon

A temperature drop was on the way. I had spent the predawn hours preparing for work and then taking a thirty minute nap in my car amidst a backdrop of lightening and pitter patter rain on the metal roof and windshield. For me, i’ve always had trouble getting to sleep in a house but i’ve …

Assimilation Day…Week…Month…maybe a Long-term Process

None of the adult chickens ever enjoyed Ellis. Ellis is crazy. There are some things you can’t fix in a chicken and apparently head trauma is one of them. Her skin may have grown back together over her skull but the mental scars run deeper and she is just an absolute total nutter. It’s gotten …

Ellis and Oakley reach Puberty

One day i noticed something tiny and round lying in the shavings in the stock tank. Upon further inspection, it was an egg. It could only have come from one of the two juvenile chickens, Ellis or Oakley. Yet, they weren’t supposed to be of laying age for another month. Well, the following day, there …

Toads that live Dangerously

Since day 1 of the chicken pen’s existence, i’ve always found toads sitting in the water dispenser. At times i find tadpoles swimming around in there, which the chickens go fishing for. These guys take over the water dispenser and just chill in there overnight. I keep telling them that’s a lethal idea. I keep …

The Power of Chicken Poop

My Uncle gave me a gift card to a plant nursery one town over for my birthday. I had quit my job, begun working at a grocery, gone back to school, and was relying on help from family to make my mortgage each month. Decorating the porch hadn’t been in the budget this year. So …

Fowl Pox

It was an evening like any other. I went to work, pulled an 8.5 hour shift of sprinting around with a giant metal cart, made the 30 minute drive home… on that drive my muscles have a chance to rest…everything stiffens; the perpetual motion has finally stopped and the aching sets in. I knew it …