We moved from the city to the country, and have lived in the country almost two years now. So we have learned a lot of information I did not know as a city dweller.
1.) Always close the gate behind you. There are animals that are fenced in for a reason. Then again, there are some the owners don’t want in.
2.) Free range chickens will not avoid pooping on the porch. UGH! I have to sweep the porch everyday, since they also want to poo on the porch. Our chickens are so darn happy, they run around everywhere, I just don’t want them on the porch.
3.) Ticks, yep, you better know how to remove them. The dogs will sometimes have a few. I prefer to use a damp paper towel. I don’t want to touch them. I really need to invest in some surgical gloves to get my Doctor groove on.
4.) Snakes, know your snakes. We have rattle snakes, gopher snakes, and California King snakes. I love the California King snakes. They will eat the rattlesnakes. The rattle snakes don’t hiss, but the gopher snakes do hiss. I leave the rattle snakes alone that are not near the house. If they are too close to the house I decapitate them with a shovel. Yep, I have also become a murderer.
5.) Gloves are great! Honestly, give me a pair of gloves and my sissyness melts away. I become one butch chick with gloves. I have picked up alligator lizards, snakes, handful of worms, and bunnies.
6.) Getting over phobias is easier. I used to hate birds flying anywhere around me. I was really worried that I would not be able to go around our chickens since the wing flapping freaks me out. We got our chickens as chicks, so it has been easier to transition. The buff chickens are the ones that will peck at my hand when I get eggs…I leave them alone.
7.) Buckets are super useful. Not only do I use them to fill with food to give to all the animals. I use them for water to add to water tanks, and turn them upside down to sit on them while watching the animals.
8.) No matter how pretty your office is, you’re going to get hay in the office. Someone is going to track in hay, chicken poo, or something else on their boots. Just have your vacuum cleaner ready.
9.) Don’t trust any egg carton that says “Vegetable fed, grain fed only” UHHHH, people, chickens are just like little dinosaurs. They make sounds like them too. Wow! I am going to have to record some of their sounds. It is crazy! Anyway, they eat bugs! They love bugs, so if they are only eating veggies and grain they are missing out on what is really natural. Scratching and hunting for bugs. If you are ever lucky enough to have chickens…never use pesticides around them. They are your pest killers.
10.) There are owls, coyotes, and foxes that want to get your chickens. As sad as it sounds, sometimes you have some losses. You have to accept that nature is not going to change just because you have moved to the country. Deer want to eat the yummy fruit off the trees, and sometimes they will even eat the bark. So, accept it as it comes, and move on.