There Will Be Dirt!

Guess what?  Did you know that living on a farm is actually, kinda, well, dirty?

I know that this may come as a great shock, as those gorgeous pictures on Pinterest showing beautiful and idilic chicken coops, and barns in the perfect hue of antique red, never seem to show how dirty everything gets.

Let me explain.

Our chickens have taken to dust bathing in our front garden, which is alway dry right by the houses’s edge.  The roof has an overhang, and keeps the wet out.  Which is great for the house, and apparently great for the chickens. What isn’t so good is the amount of dry dirt that the chickens then flick up and about, while chatting with their chicken friends, who also feel that this is the hip place to be.  Once finished their bathing, they walk to our front door step… and fluff themselves out, sending that dry dirt out in cloud from the garden and out to the front mat.  Fabulous.  Once they finish, they might have a poop, or sit down for nap… or maybe decide to rip up the two planters on either side of our front door, and lay an egg in the newly made depression.  Fabulous.  Really Fabulous.  So now we have dry dirt, uprooted plants, and chicken poop, all within one step’s distance from opening up the front door.


A Light Sussex hen, who really, really, likes to get her dirt on.

When we had researched chicken breeds, one incredibly wise author did say if you have issues with dirty looking hens, just don’t get white ones.  I confess, I scoffed at the time. I did.  But after seeing our dirty looking kids walking around, some strange mothering instinct emerges where I want to chase them with damp cloths.  In future, we’ll be focussing on all dark-coloured hens!

With all those chickens dust bathing in the front garden, small craters have formed.  Of course, the cats really appreciate these dry craters that the chickens have obviously made for them in the front garden, and when the chickens leave, the cats fill the holes with… yup, you guessed it.  Cat turd.  I mean it’s perfect right? A dry little hole, with dry dusty dirt, that the damn cats will track into the house on their paws…

Now, if you happen to be raising puppies at the same time… this is where it really gets interesting.  Puppies, whom already have delighted themselves with various treats left for them by the chickens on the front step, are completely intrigued by what the cats have left for them in these conveniently located holes, right by the front steps!  Delicious!

So yes, I’m also gagging by this point.  Thankfully our puppies fur seems to more of a catch and release set up with dry dirt, so we have a fighting chance with them, before they drag half the farm back into the house.  That’s if they manage not to dive into the small duck pond, so the dirt has something to stick to…


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Post duck pond.  “No puppies, you can’t come in the house now.”


So if you’re wondering if farm living is for you, keep that in the back of your mind.  Renovating a house?  Choose your floor colours carefully!  Oh, and you might have to adjust your wardrobe.  I’ve long since given up on wearing white, before OR after labour day.

Happy farming!


The Shepherd


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