“Ok, lets load ’em up. Honda And Swiffer….You know the routine. Help Rosie along and make sure that she doesn’t get the spot beside Stanley. OK….everyone , stop fighting over the window seat. Everyone strapped in? Okay……lets head NORTH!”
The chickens are coming up to the cottage with us for the first time this season. For Rosie, it will be a brand new experience because she wasn’t a member of City Boy Hens last summer. Maybe it’s a brand new experience for the veterans as well. I’m not sure what level of memory retention can be had when you only have a brain the size of a cashew nut.
The upside to bringing the chickens to the cottage is that I’ll have something to write about for the blog and we will continue to enjoy farm fresh eggs at the cottage. The down side is that 5 people and one dog, crammed into tight quarters with 3 chickens who are known for frequent defecation, may not be the best recipe for a pleasant 3 hour drive on a humid evening. It’s not too bad for my wife and myself because the chickens will be positioned behind our seats and our windows will be WIDE OPEN. For the kids…it’s another matter.
Those rear windows in a mini van are not designed to roll down. All that you can get in terms of ventilation is a slightly cracked window that only opens up an inch from the side. I’m sure it’s a safety feature, but the person who designed this van was definitely not thinking of the possibility that MAYBE someone some day might want to transport a few chickens to the cottage in this vehicle!
In order to help with the poop volume, I tried something different this year. I intentionally withheld feed for 3 hours prior to our cottage departure. I read in a post by a chicken vet that it takes 3 hours for food to move from beak to butt in a chicken. My girls must be Olympic gold medal contenders because, when we stopped halfway through our journey for refreshments, I was met with numerous demands from the “rear passengers” to pick out the chicken turds in the bottom of the cage. Okay…we’re not talking a dozen or so…..just 3-4 turds. Boy…those city kids!
The following morning, I was up bright and early to let the girls out of the Ark into their pen. There was no way I was letting anyone out for some free ranging until there were 3 eggs in the nest box. If you’ve followed me before, you may remember that Swiffer has taken to sometimes laying her eggs in the backyard. Here at the cottage, there is almost an acre of land for the chickens to roam and there’s no way that I’m looking over the entire property for an egg! But, much to my surprise, nestled tightly together, were 3 warm eggs in the nest box. The chickens just looked at me as if to say “Well…..what else did you expect?”. I’m not sure, but I think I heard someone say “Ok…..now can we finally get out and head down to the beach and explore????????????”