Monday, November 26, 2012

Slippery slope

photo of a field in spring
© harrington
This picture is what my back yard looks like in the Spring. It looks to me as if it could be one of the better places in My Minnesota to raise chickens. Lots of grass produces lots of ticks which, when not collected by one of the houses canine companions, could be eaten by chickens. I know that chickens, when not being free range, live in chicken coops. It seems to me that a decent coop should be adequate protection for my flock-to-be from the neighborhood coyote pack and the stray fox or raccoon. However, we also have black bears in the neighborhood. I doubt that any coop I could buy or build is likely to protect the flock-to-be from the menu of a hungry bear come Spring, before the local blackberries and wild strawberries are available. So then the choice seems to be adding one or more dogs, of the guardian more than companion variety to protect the flock-to-be. Or, maybe a lama or two which should work on the coyotes but I'm not so sure if they serve as bear repellants. And would either guardian dogs or lamas be a solution that would protect an apiary, should one of those become one of the delights of rural living. In My Minnesota, urban farmers don't know how good they've got it.