Guest Post: Dan (part 2)

A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage

It’s hard to believe a Presidential candidate actually promised that to everyone if he was elected. I don’t want a chicken in every pot, just one in mine. We have a family joke in that I want an automatic garage door opener.  (We don’t own a garage or even a car port.)

Two chickens in this pot! (Photo: Trish Avery)

If and when times get tough I do want a lot of chickens and eggs to eat myself and to share with family, friends and neighbors who can’t afford them. I’ll let it be known now, my chickens will not be unionized, they will not be granted collective bargaining nor will they be allowed to vote on the matter.

My wife asked me to look up chicken recipes.  I told her we had a ton of cookbooks with chicken recipes.  Well stupid I was supposed to understand she meant recipes the chickens would like to eat!

Last week in one of Julie’s articles I discovered that hens are lazy.  I have to play midwife and nanny to their kids.

OK, for the past week I’ve not done much.  Hey it rained several days and the one good day we had we had to trim some of the bushes in the yard and start getting our garden ready for planting.

As you can see in the photo above we did get the material needed for the play yard for them.  This included:

5 2x4x8
8 4x4x6
6 4x4x8
1 roll of poultry fence 48″x50′
1 roll of poultry fence 24″x50′
6 1x4x8
1 16’x20′ tarp
2 hinges for the door
Forgot to get a latch though.

The total for all that came to around $180 at Lowes.

We did run into one problem this past week.  It seems our property covenants forbid putting farm animals on the property but that was solved when I visited 6 out of the 7 members and obtained permission to build the coop.  We are located in the country but on the edge of a very small development.  In fact we didn’t even know we where part of the development till 2009, that’s after we had lived here for 10 years.  Two of our neighbors didn’t even know anything about land covenants.

In the picture above, if you look closely you will see three piles of dirt in the kudzu.  Each pile is about 15-20 feet apart and they are the home of Red Foxes.  Judging by the pile of bones outside each den we see they love fowl and small animals.  After talking with a neighbor who has chickens down the street (not part of our development), he has had two chickens disappear but doesn’t believe it was the foxes who did it.  ???

Anyway that means I have to at least bury the chicken wire at least a foot underground and I plan on two feet.  I do have a gas powered augur that should make that a little easier than digging a two foot trench around the whole thing.

Last year we put in a Koi pond in the front yard and I’ll share a little with that you next time.


Dan Shaw is a budding southern farmer who wonders where the phrase “chicken farmer” came from since it has nothing to do with planting and cultivating.

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7 Responses to Guest Post: Dan (part 2)

  1. Fran Kocher says:

    Very humorous article. why would anyone ever want to raise chickens in your particular vicinity?

    • Julie Helms says:

      Chickens belong EVERYWHERE! There is even a big push for raising hens in urban settings.


    • Dan says:

      I live outside city limits and there is a cow pasture on one side of me and a hay field on the other. Across the street is a development that was started and when the housing boom went bust they stopped building. My next door neighbor has horses. My house sits on the corner of a side street and there is only 6 houses in it and that is the total development. I have about 1.5 acres of land albeit a quarter of it is a steep hill covered with kudzu.

      We are going to face high inflation in the near future. There is no way the feds can keep covering up the fact. I’m sure we’ve all seen our grocery and energy bills rising steadily. Of course energy and food is NOT figure into inflation rates. Just like the unemployment rate does not count those out of work and not looking or no longer eligible of unemployment and also does not count those who are underemployed nor those working 2-3 part time jobs to make ends meet since they can’t find full time work.

      So raising chickens is poor man’s plan for survival and long term food storage. Also if I’m only one of a few in the area who has chickens and eggs then I also have a great barter item.

      Plus we love animals.

  2. Dan, when my husband and I moved to the country we thought we wanted a few hens too – for eggs.. we never intended on eating those birds at all.. but never realized the side effect – now we cannot even eat chicken – I have a hard time looking at it in the grocery store.. our birds were so sweet and trusting – couldn’t do it.. and combined with keeping a few sheep to keep the pasture from being overgrown -( mind you I never did like the taste of lamb) my husband and I are now nearly vegetarian!
    I do try to support others to eat free range eggs by selling our extras cheap.

  3. oh another point to Dan again – I have found that Stucco wire is far stronger than chicken wire – if you find foxes getting through the chicken wire – replace it with stucco wire – it lasts longer too.

  4. Trish says:

    Hey, little Ruby & Garnet, my Old English banty sisters, are celebrities now! 2 chickies in a pot (which is actually their nest box)

    • Dan says:

      We are hoping our dog “Termite” gets along with the chickens. She doesn’t seem to mind birds. We have two bird feeders hanging from our deck and they are all over the deck and I’ve never seen her chase them or even bark at them.

      If she does we are planning on extending her dog run around the outside of the coop. She can be very fierce and is a good protector. The foxes won’t even go near her run.

      I do understand about eating the birds. We actually are mostly after the eggs. Though I don’t cotton running an old folks home for retired birds we are no longer earning their feed. We do have a lot of rice and many different types of beans stored as a substitute for meat in our long term storage endeavor.

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