Big City Chickens, Big City Problems.

The chickens have been settled into their new run. They should be safe from hawks and maybe even coyotes (maybe/maybe not…but there has been one spotted near the neighborhood recently), but those aren’t City problems. Those are surprising incursions of rural world invading Chicago. Kinda like chickens, I suppose.

Ah, but real city issues. The chickens are getting along well with the sparrows, robins, and the squirrels. Apparently stray cats visit the yard frequently, and that hasn’t caused a problem. Haven’t seen raccoons yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Surprised bunnies haven’t been exploring the area–they are legion in Chicago.

And real city problems:

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Look closely…just above the cob…oh, those beady little eyes. We had been curious as to where the two corncobs had gone that had been put out for the chickens. One ended up on a fence then in the alley behind the house. Only explanation had to be a squirrel. But where did the other go.

Sadly, Jeff had noticed a certain increased amount of scurrying in the backyard. If you live off an alley in Chicago, there will be the occasional mouse or rat. Or maybe more than ‘the occasional’.

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Having read the book “Rats“, I knew that they scurried along walls. And that’s right where we put the run…along a wall. Rodents figured it out pretty quickly. (I also learned from “Rats” that Chicago is one of the few cities with enough bunnies to make them kind of creepy. En masse, I have learned that bunnies, raccoons, deer, and ladybugs can all be pretty scary.)

Then came all of the ethical stuff…Why do I care if there are rats there? Is there a way to move them vs eliminate them (yeah…dead style)? Why are rats ickier than squirrels or rabbits? And I actually haven’t answered all of these questions for myself yet. I know that rats don’t carry as many diseases as we’re afraid of. I might be a little worried that they’ll bite the chickens or take the eggs. Why am I less bothered by the cute little tiny mousies than the big-ol’ fat rats with snake-like tails?

Decisions to be made. (Okay…I’ll admit it…have tried to trap a bit, but they just lick the peanut butter and scarfed down the roast beef bait.)

 

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