Here’s me thinking that Chicken TV involved humans watching avian melodrama unfolding in their own backyard. Little did I realise that Chicken TV is, in reality, chickens relaxing in front of the spectacle of me doing DIY. Forget the twitter feed on Q&A, this is truly interactive television, featuring tea-thievery, butt pecking and repeated attempts to use powertools.
The occasion for this viewing pleasure was a revolution in gate-making – my first not entirely constructed of bamboo, zip ties and chicken wire. This one is constructed from a superannuated IKEA bed frame (ok I cheated. I also used some hinges, paint and one additional length of pine). The original intention was to keep an ancient dog, visiting for the fortnight, away from the poultry. As it turns out, the tiny, arthritic dog and the strapping teenaged chooks settled into a comfortable state of mutual disinterest. The project had gained its own momentum by then, as gate-making activities always seem to do.
I was feeling mighty self-satisfied about my bed-gate, despite the “chookhouse tolerances” of my dodgy carpentry and the ominous creaking of overstrained hinges, and started to warm to the prospect of keeping the livestock out of the native shrubbery. As my nine year old said “You’d don’t know our chickens, mum”. And and sure enough, within ten minutes, there was Shyla, marching up briskly and forthrightly up to the back door.