Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All you can eat or Chicken for dinner?

“So how can we help you today?”  the big guy behind the counter at the local lumber yard knows I show up there on serious business only.

“Well, I need some parts for a cover for the chicken buffet.”

He paused, “As in all-they-can-eat? Or we’re having chicken for dinner.”  He really knows better than to joke about the darlings at the back of my yard who, though they haven’t laid an egg in a long time (some of them never), keep me better entertained than the best rated TV sitcom. 

The chicken buffet is a brainchild birthed from necessity.  Chickens love grain and so do rodents.  How to feed the chickens and not the rats—that’s the question.  The buffet, then, is wooden tray perched on a post that has an ABS pipe sheath.  The chickens can easily fly two feet up to the perch, hop into the tray and be ankle deep in seeds, grains and chicken scratch.  We’ve never seen a rat even try to climb that pipe.  Pray no one is giving them flying lessons.

Nora Jones dining in.

But the rainy season arrived yesterday, and the roof for the buffet can’t wait any longer.  My chickens are pretty classy ladies.  Singers, they are, all of them.  There’s Gwyneth Poultry (the slender blonde), Nora Jones, Nina Simone, Latifah, and Miss Lena Horne.  A group of women of this caliber deserve only the best.  So there are cedar shingles on the roof which is supported by smooth pine uprights.  Never mind that I’ve never before cedar-shingled a roof.  It's on my list of Things I get to do today.  For these sweet chicks I’ll do just about anything.

Learned oh so much on this part.
Today as afternoon was turning into evening, I secured the last bolt to the roof structure that will shelter my girls’ food, nibbles and treats from the rain of fall and possible snow of winter.

And tomorrow after I’ve fed myself and brushed my teeth, I’ll head out to the hen pen with the fragrance of cedar in my nose.  A few bolts secured on each end and I’ll flip on the sign “Open for business—all you can eat.”

Nora on the left and Gwyneth, fluff toward camera, checking out the business.

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