I consider myself a fairly well-rounded outdoorswomen, but I came face to face with my urban upbringing last week when I raided my friend’s garden. And more specifically, her chickens.
I was checking in on my friend’s cat while she was out of town, and she had said that I could harvest whatever I wanted while I was there. They have transformed their whole backyard into a garden, and so I ventured out the next morning thinking, This is great! I’ll eat my veggies and save money on groceries!
As I walked around the green rectangles in her yard, I quickly realized one little problem. I didn’t know what anything was. I looked at one particularly large bush-like-plant and racked my brain for possible known matches. If this was in the grocery store, what would it look like? Is this that “swiss chard” that I’ve heard people talk about?
After a bit of snooping around, I finally found some things I recognized: tomatoes, peppers, some other kind of peppers, and basil! (I think I should get extra points for also gathering herbs.)
Feeling triumphant, I walked over to the chicken coop. And immediately lost all my nerve. Chickens are scary, you guys! Don’t chickens attack people and peck them to death? Isn’t that a thing? And the noises they make! So creepy! That morning the chickens were wandering around outside the coop, which meant that if I could make it 10 feet into the pen, I could snag some eggs. I speed-walked as fast as I could (because running might raise their suspicion) and tried not to think about my vulnerable bare legs. I opened the coop to find four pretty brown and light blue eggs. The chickens were slowly coming towards me, probably to eat my toes, so I bounded in three big steps back out and quickly snapped the fence shut behind me. It felt like a narrow miss from a fatal chicken attack.
That morning was a great reminder that I am not as hardcore as I think I am. New experiences are scary, but they are worthwhile (I have some tasty veggies and eggs now!) and you can learn something new with each one. Like that maybe chickens aren’t as bloodthirsty as I had originally thought.
Do you garden? Or have chickens? Have any tips for rookies like myself?