Hi-Def Chickens in 3-D

September 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm 1 comment

By Lyle Estill

Arlo's excellent coop.

My son Arlo has been wanting chickens for awhile now. Last spring he started building a chicken coop down at Summer Shop.  I’ve been offering him wise counsel and advice.

In the past I have hunted and eaten prairie chickens, and I have raised multiple generations of “rare breed” domesticated chickens.  Which means I have seen chickens die of dehydration.  And I have seen them fall victim to snakes, possums, raccoons, dogs, foxes, hawks, owls and weasels over time.

Weasels are the worst.  They come every other night and they kill only one bird, eating only the breast.

No amount of experience was enough to sway Arlo.

When Megan and Tim Toben came to dinner, two things happened.  Firstly, they spotted Arlo’s custom chicken coop.  And secondly, they sunk their teeth into one of Arlo’s apple/pear pies.

From their perspective it was entirely clear.  Pickard’s Mountain was having a dinner.  They needed pies.  From Arlo’s point of view it was also obvious.  He needed chickens.  Megan struck a deal with Arlo:  eight pies for eight hens.  Done.

In order to prepare for the chickens we went to the feed store to get supplies.  We needed staples to secure the fence to keep dogs out, and we needed oyster shells to keep the hens calcium up, and we needed chicken feed, and a bunch of stuff.

This morning Arlo harvested a solitary egg.  I suggested that it was worth about one hundred and eighty bucks.

Which left Arlo undaunted.  He’s going to make a go of it in backyard chickens.

And we are going with him.

Earlier today Tami said, “The chickens make me happy.”

That’s worth something.  I’m not sure how to price it, exactly, but we could charge some happiness to the chickens.

Tonight I came home from watching a scholastic soccer game and I went out to watch the chickens.  I called it “chicken TV.”  Cancel the satellite television subscription, I’ll go watch the chickens.  I’m not sure what it would cost for a bunch of television but I’m guessing it is a lot.

Tami came home from her yoga session and we went back out to watch the chickens.  Clearly it is a channel both of us would normally subscribe to.

I’m guessing that if we sharpened up our pencils, and charged everything from happiness to forgone television subscriptions to fresh eggs, we would be way ahead with chickens.

And if I am wrong about that, it’s too late.  Because we have a mixed flock of chickens to contend with…

— From  Energy Blog. Lyle is Vice President of Stuff at Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro.

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Entry filed under: Learning, Lyle Estill, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Robert Sprenger / aka Door Doc  |  September 26, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I gain alot of happiness from my chicken TV too. It is interesting to observe the NEW cast of characters interacting with the established actors. I can now see where the term “pecking order” came from. …Robert Sprenger

    Reply

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