Saturday, April 15, 2017

impulse purchases

I am on the verge of purchasing some quite expensive poultry netting with solar-powered electrification. 


1. The chooks would get much more space to roam about.  (While the coop I got was advertised for eight chickens, it's tight with six.)
2.  They would be protected while roaming about.
3.  I would use it to wrap around the coop so there would be greater protection all around.
4.  Their diet would be better with this greater access to grass/weeds/bugs.  (Though: even THEY don't like the grass up front.  I'm telling you, this grass is the wickedest thickest grass I've ever seen.  It's so difficult.  Fantastic for people who want turf and have a heavy-duty lawnmower, but that's not me.)
5.  They would fulfill their primary job for me: removing the grass and fertilizing the ground.  While they don't much like the grass, they will destroy it with time.  (Less than a day on a spot in the backyard and they obliterated all green beneath them.  Not so up front.)
6.  I won't have to keep jerry-rigging up haphazard solutions to the lack of space.  

1.  Cost.  It's literally hundreds of dollars. 

I go back and forth about it.  Yes, of course I can rig up something cheaper, but I don't have much spare time.  (Because I'm using it all by researching my options on-line.)  After school's out in a month i'll have more time but that's too long to wait for space and safety solutions since I put them in the front. 

So here's how I justify it potentially: I got a quote from landscapers to develop my front yard - which was likely just taking a backhoe and removing the sod and dumping new garden soil on top - and it cost more than this netting.  If the chickens do it, it's much better for the soil and I'd end up with much better ground to garden with.  Plus they can help every time the seasons change with clearing the old crops and tilling the soil and eating bugs.  The netting would allow flexibility for me to move it wherever I like.  (Plus: his plans were only exactly what I had thrown out as ideas and he would plant the lime tree too close to the others.  I like him quite a lot but I don't think this front yard was a good project for us to do together.) 

Plus: eggs. I mean, that conversation isn't really happening because I obviously already committed.  The poultry is here.  I don't know if that means I'll get more chickens later or what I"ll do when these chickens stop producing - but I don't have to know.  I'll figure it out.  Like I say, the eggs are lagniappe - what I really want them for is their ground clearing and tilling work.  To have a whole system in place.  And this poultry netting will make that possible. 

YEs, I could get less expensive netting, without electricity.  But I also need the security that it provides.  And it's solar-powered with outlet recharger backup which is all nice.  I've done a ton of research - including extensive chatting with their salespeople - and it's a good product built to last. 

I'm clearly talking myself into this.  I just got my bills all under control and want to live frugally, but ... yeah.

So, yesterday Ziggy was a couch potato.  I think that moving the chickens to the front reduced her stress levels so significantly that she was able to finally exhale and she mostly slept and looked kind of pathetic.  This morning she's raring to go though, already offering toys and indicating a strong preference that we go for a walk right now.  I'll start some laundry, take her out, hang laundry, go meet chicken friend and get their coop (not sure what I'll do with it but I'll figure it out - probably for now just scrub it down and store it), get their worm bin and take to my tenant and check out that she really is handling the yardwork that is her duty that she says she's doing, etc.  Then a lot of reading and I tell you - it's hard as fuck.  The weather is so perfect these days and I hate not being out in it ALL THE TIME. I have a short paper to write.  I need to get caught up on the dog training and work with Ziggy.  I need to cook - a frittata likely.  Because I have a TON of eggs.  And I should plan meals for the week and go shopping and also go to the feed store to get chicken feed.  And list the apartment for rent.  And do more reading.  And secure the coop, and plant collards and chard, and maybe order banana trees.  And put in a fence trellis.  And move dirt, and plant cucumbers and squash to go on the trellis.  Oh, so much dirt to move.  Once I get my weedwhacker back and I can work on clearing that area in the back and move dirt to plant okra. I really want my driveway back so it would be great to finish moving dirt, though highly unlikely this weekend.  Sigh. 

Sheesh, that's more than I can do in the two days I have left with this weekend.  I sure do wish I didn't have to work in an office for a living.  Sigh.  Oh, and I have to cut the grass. 

OH, we did go to agility last week but I don't think we'll do it again.  I liked the woman and Ziggy did very well with her, but Ziggy was WAY over threshold because there is a dog right next to the agility field that was barking aggressively.  How obnoxious.  So Ziggy was way stressed out by that.  Plus the woman was trying to help with training but some of her advice is antiquated - like "make the dog sit before opening the door" and "don't let the dog on the sofa, ever."  No, no, no.  What's important is that she not rush out of doors, which she no longer does.  And that if I ask her to move off the sofa that she do, which she does.  What people don't understand is: Ziggy at home with me is awesome.  She exhibits all sorts of awesome impulse control and she's the best little companion and right-hand dog.  It's the rest of the world stress that sets her off and makes her brain shut down because it's too much adrenaline.  That has nothing to do with whether I let her on the sofa. 

OK, time to face the day.  It's another gorgeous one. 


  1. We had a trainer when Maggie was a pup who said the same thing. "Make her sit before opening a door, and never let her go through the door before. You going first lets her know you are the boss," and "never let her on the furniture. Allowing it shows her she's in charge." First, I don't want Maggie to feel dominance from me, and she never rushes through a door. Second, she's family, and family sits on the furniture, if she's in my spot, I tell her to scoot over and she does. I just don't think having a dog should entail dominance on anyone's part....

    1. Well said. Anyone who ever says "dominance" or "alpha" or any of that debunked nonsense has me backing away slowly.

      I don't think she necessarily believes in the dominance - she was seeing an out of control dog. But, this dog had a dog just a few feet away from her barking aggressively. Ziggy can't just ignore that - she's very sensitive. Plus, she was recovering from me traveling and leaving her with friends whose dog has recently gotten grumpy and for god sakes having her backyard overrun by demonic terrorist chickens. She was already stressed and then she shows up and some dog is barking aggressively at her? I get why she seems out of control, but she was just over her threshold of coping well.

      So yesterday she napped and today she wants to snuggle. She just keeps walking up to me and leaning in to me, asking to be pet. She's being just the sweetest little puppy in the world and she wants reassurance as the cortisol dissipates. So I would tell her: no, you cannot sit on the couch with me, where you want our feet to touch because it provides you comfort as you recover from some trauma, because of bad "common sense" which has been proven false.

      No thanks.

  2. Wish everyday was as absolutely perfect as this one was!

    I have to laugh when reading dog trainer's suggestions. Whenever I ask Indie, "Do you want to go out?" I barely get out "Do you.." and he's already on the porch with the lead in his mouth! I love when he runs out ahead of me, excited to go somewhere. I love that he is full of energy and curiosity, ready at the drop of a hat just to be with us no matter what we're doing. He's 11 going on 3. I've been to peoples' homes and their dogs just laid there like they didn't have the energy to raise their head. I don't understand that. Is it a breed thing or is their life really that boring? If Indie didn't jump onto my lap when I sat down on the couch I'd take him to the vet because something would be horribly wrong! But then, he only weighs 22 lbs. I treat him like a friend because that's what he is. Whenever my husband or I walk into the house, Indie goes batshit crazy jumping up on us, bringing us our slippers, just so happy to see us he can't contain himself. I don't necessarily like that, but I also know that someday when he's not here, we'll miss these things. His exuberance can be a pain in the ass at times, but the good far, far outweighs any little inconveniences.

    Okay, back to the kitchen. Cooking for 30 tomorrow. Enjoy your break!