I decided that today was the day to expand the chicken pen. The weather is getting better and the chickens need to be able to get outside. Last week I bought the materials I needed to make the fence, but they were still in the back of the car. At about three o'clock I dragged the rolls of wire and the eight posts out to the back yard. It took about five trips back to the house to assemble all the tools I needed, but at least I had the tools, thanks to David's Christmas presents last year. I also had to take out my kitchen step stool. I am too short to pound in the posts without standing on something.
I let the chickens out while I worked, which meant that I had to keep the old fence in tact while I erected the new one. It's a tecnique I seem to favor in many chores that I do, such as changing sheets one corner at a time so that the bed is never exposed to the ravages of the dogs who dive for any exposed portion of the foam mattress pad. Animals don't seem to notice that changes are being made if they occur this way. Of course it takes twice as long to do things.
The new, taller, posts went into the ground fairly easily because the ground is muddy and soft this time of year. In fact, the whole job was pretty easy. My new wire cutters worked so much easier than scissors. I even liked the fact that the handles of all of the tools are yellow and therefore easy to find once they inevitably disappear. After the new perimeter had been established, I removed the old boundary. No children could have rewarded their mother more than Demeter and Hannah as they immediately raced into the new space as if they had been waiting in great anticipation. They explored every corner. Over in the dog yard hysteria reigned as the chickens moved into new territory. Benny dug furiously under the gate, Patrick stood on his hind legs with his front feet scratching the fence, Lytton ran to the porch for a better view and barked. They all lost interest when I mentioned supper, though, and I'm sure it was only the newness of the situation that stirred them up. They have come to accept the chickens pretty well at a distance as long as protocol is observed by all concerned.
I picked up my trash, put the chickens in, fed the dogs, and felt good about my accomplishment. I was glad to be where I am and chose not to think of the future.