Pitching Tents and Chicken Farming

04/03/2014 / in General, Messages from Matt, Tents / by Matt

The context for the below email is that TentCraft just had the busiest month ever (narrowly squeaking by last September) and things got a little stressful for the tent team.

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Sent: Tue 4/1/2014 10:35 PM

Team,

I just want you to know that I spent the last 45 minutes chasing chickens around my d@mn neighborhood. As some of you know, I am watching my neighbors' chickens for 10 days. As some of you also know, I am taking my job as a temporary chicken farmer very seriously.

Every morning I give them water and feed—and let them into the little yard—and then every night I lock everything up so Mr. Raccoon doesn't eat them all.

Ty (the neighbor) said I didn't have to let them out every day and they could stay in the coop, but I figure with this warmer weather "the girls" would probably want to be out and about in the sun. It is however very important to secure them at night so they aren't eaten, because they apparently all get eaten a couple times a year, and then you have to start over with little ones.

Now, I live in a regular neighborhood, and this chicken operation is attached to Ty's 11 year-old son's local compost business, so it isn't really a professional deal like you might see on the discovery channel. Exhibit A: The door on the chicken coop:chicken-coop

"A sled???!!?? A fr##$!@ing sled?," you may ask. I said the same thing. As a farm caretaker, I dutifully emailed the compost fellas and told them that their door needed some preventative maintenance. Ty emailed back and said it would be fine and they wouldn't wander far if they got out. He also assured me that the chickens would go back in at night.

Well, that is the last time I trust an urban chicken farmer. At 9:30pm, it was dark, cold, wet and muddy everywhere—and none of the chickens were back in the coop. They were all over the freaking place. On the porch, my fence—in the front yard—everywhere. Old Mr. Raccoon was probably just licking his chops. I made the assumption that if I went close to them, they'd be scared and run to the coop. Nope—they ran in every different direction.

how-to-catch-a-chicken-screenshotAt this point, I'm not even sure whether or not you can grab a chicken without it ferociously attacking your face. Since I was unable to predict this chicken calamity (and didn't have my phone), I went back in the house to first—grab a drink (I was really stressed at this point), second—to regroup, and finally—to Google "How to catch a chicken?" My research confirmed that I could safely grab a chicken if able to get close enough to—well—grab the chicken.

Long story short, I chased those chickens around the yard until I got them all back in the coop around 10:20pm. One chicken (I nicknamed her Kelly—which happens to be my wife's name—pure coincidence) was especially headstrong and difficult, but I finally caught her.

egghaulThe moral of this story:

While it sometimes sucks when you're knee-deep in chicken shit and can't figure out how to get out—it is all worth it in the end (as you can see in the picture to the right).

5 eggs! This was my best haul ever. Best egg haul ever after our best month ever. Great work to everyone!

MATT

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