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Monday, February 16, 2015

One Thing I Know for Sure…

chicken choresIf you recall The Ripple’s last post, my environmentally-sensitive friend Nancy L stated, “Ain’t nothin’ don’t like a chicken.” The one thing I know for sure? Nancy L spoke a mouthful of truth. Today I thought I’d visit the Valley to add a bit of photo to my journalism, collect some snapshot support of the Frohnings’ mobile chicken operation. I was in luck. Sandy Frohning, the CCO (Chief Chicken Officer), just happened to be on the premises herself, feeding the flock and collecting the efforts of the hens’ labors. I snapped a shot or two while she made the rounds and gathered the eggs.all in one basket

Those who follow The Ripple know it exists solely because something’s always happening in the Valley. Or today, as it turns out,  has happened I learned when Sandy’s blue ATV putt-putted alongside. “Remember the three P’s I was telling you about the other day?”Sandy reminded me. What I had learned from our little chicken seminar was still fresh in my mind:  the three P’s of free range chicken ranching. free range flockThe job description of a good rooster, Sandy informed me was to protect, provide, and procreate. “And I’ve got a good one,” she boasted. I had shared my concern about the vulnerability of her flock which seemed easy pickings for hawks, eagles and coyotes. Which one of us was the pariah…me for broaching the threat of coyotes…Sandy for bragging on her rooster, I’m not sure. Perhaps we were equally to blame, but whatever the case,  it so happened this morning I had stumbled upon a crime scene.Big red...dead

Remember that stalwart rooster, protector of the flock, the one that worked extra shifts to keep his ladies safe, well fed, and… well, should I say, “entertained?” Apparently a marauding coyote slunk through the morning’s fog and served up Big Red for its breakfast, thus leaving the flock dynamics two P’s fewer and the bustling little hens at the mercy of  two randy roosters. As Sandy walked me to the scene of the crime, I was amazed at her calm, nonchalant acceptance of Big Red’s untimely passing. “It’s life,” she smiled, putting me in mind of Jack London’s Call of the Wild, “I just hope the two juniors can step up and follow in Big Red’s chicken feet.”

Camera in hand I stared down at a pile of feathers, feathers that would never cross that road or any road ever again.a hiccup of feathers

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