7 lessons learnt from chickens

  1. Never underestimate how many animals prey on chickens. Goshawks, mongooses (mongeese?), Cape otters, dogs, cats, caracals, snakes, badgers. They’re out there and they’re hungry for chicken protein.
  2. Don’t just bring the chickens home and expect them to run amok and survive. Have a coop. With a roof and a floor. The night is long. See point 1.
  3. Listen to the experts. You need a coop with a roof and a floor (see point 2). Some predators can burrow.
  4. Just when you think its all good and you’ve secured your chickens, a mongoose will break in and kill your brood. 99% ready = dead chickens. Only 100% ready = living chickens.
  5. There is always another chicken out there. The luckless chickens can be replaced. Even your children will overcome the trauma of losing their pet chickens. The emotional cost of a chicken is approximately two cookies.
  6. Chickens are not just ornaments or pets. They lay eggs. You can eat the eggs for breakfast. You can even eat the chicken if need be. If you’re going to go to all the effort of protecting your animals from the predators mentioned in point 1, you may as well have a tangible benefit.
  7. Roosters don’t lay eggs and they make a racket. Which is why the going rate for a chicken on Gumtree is R50, whilst roosters are free.

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