Food & Drink

Dean Mullis: The chicken who thinks she’s a kitten

The point of putting our chickens 200 yards away to co-mingle with the my dad’s cows was so I could sow seeds in flats under the trees across from the greenhouse and not have to worry about the chickens hopping up onto the tables scratching up the flats...Not working out, no matter how many times I move them back at night, some still make the 200 yard hike to hang around the trees and barn.

One barred rock hen had been laying her eggs in our potato bins until she discovered my hammock. I went to sleep in it last week, checking for spiders and snakes, and there were four eggs on top of my poncho liner...

So, I zipped up the the mosquito netting so she could not get in.

Tuesday morning, my right knee was swelling up, as it occasionally does, so a took a BC powder and went to lay in the hammock for a 1/2 hour. I get there and see that that hen had clawed and and tore the heck out of the netting trying to get into the hammock. My thoughts turned to shotgun and dumplings...

I had been laying in the hammock about 10 minutes and here she comes... She hops up and settles down on my stomach. Then between my legs, then starts walking up and down my body. I have watched this hen lay an egg many times and it takes her about a 1/2 hour. So, I get up and let her have the hammock.

There is a saying in permaculture circles that “the problem is the solution.”

Instead of trying to exclude the hen from my hammock, I am leaving it open. Gathered an egg there Tuesday evening and another Thursday.

Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.