Saturday, May 03, 2014

moving day

I've noticed that people have different moving strategies. Some take it slowly: let's just unpack one box at a time... Others rush to put it all behind them: you decide where to put the spatula, throw it away for all I care! Let's just unpack already!

Some are bothered by moving. Adjustment to the new surroundings will be slow. Excitement is tempered by apprehension. Others don't care. New streets to cross? No big deal. New acoustics, lighting, neighbors, mail-delivery person? Fun!

If I had to put a label our chickens, I'd say that they belong to the set that's apprehensive, uncomfortable, disoriented, not ready, confused, disinclined to relocate.

And if they're going to be nervous about it, then I'm going to be nervous. And that translates into me wanting to get this done with quickly, methodically, without pause.

Perhaps I should have started with this explanation: today, Ed completed the fence building project and the sun greeted us (well, me and the chickens) with gusto, and so after delighting in all the wonderful luminescence of the morning...







...and after determining that it is warm enough to eat breakfast on the porch (it wasn't really warm enough, but we forced it)...


... I faced the chickens and said this: you are moving today!

They appeared indifferent to the news. Shows how innocent chickens can be.


But it turns out not to be an easy transfer. The space we chose for them (so many factors to consider!) was covered in good part by rotted logs. We had to clear most of those out first.

And as I lifted and heaved logs, I kept thinking -- when will my back snap? When will I regret having lifted one more log?

I was truly relieved that a couple of hours of this  did not undo whatever it is that gets undone in my back.

Alright. Space cleared. Now I help Ed put up the fence (so much prettier than the chain link one we used up to now!).

And finally, we move the coop to this new space for them.

And the chickens follow and they are curious and they accept that this is where they can now get their water, their food, their shelter...


...and then they promptly forget all about it and after a hearty meal of worms, they rest as Ed and I continue to lift, heave, and build.

Okay. The place is ready. Now we need to hang around the new location so that they know this is their new home.

And initially it works. I throw some corn on the ground -- they run, RUN over... But then they're off to who knows where.

It is the afternoon. A perfect one at that: mostly sunny and mostly warm.  And my back is not protesting too much and this is just such a relief!

So maybe we should continue working?  Yes!

More toil and sweat over the raspberry patch: digging, heaving, pulling out the countless clumps of creeping charlie.

And still my back does not protest.

It truly feels like a miracle.

Now if only the chicks would accept their new location...

They do not. They keep coming back to the place where the coop once stood. They appear befuddled. They come to the farmhouse door and set up shop there.

No, no cheepers! Let me lead you to your new address by the barn!
I do that. They follow. They eat the corn I give them (a treat!), they inspect the premises (nice, very nice!) and then they come right back to the courtyard.

Time to put some force behind the move. The sun is setting (ah! so you get a sunrise and a sunset tonight! Thank the chickens!).


It's their bedtime. I lead them once again to the coop and then I lock the new gate on them and walk away.

I mean, really guys: it's the same coop, only a few hundred meters to the side of where you were! You'd make lousy immigrants!

Goodnight, cheepers. I'll see you tomorrow. At sunrise. Or thereabouts.