For two months now, we’ve had our baby chickens, but we only had a partial approval for the coop. The final OK couldn’t come until the inspector returned to check out our chicks.
In Ferndale, the town where we live, the local ordinance allows only three hens and no roosters. So today’s visit was basically a roll call and gender check.
The inspector was super nice, and the same one who approved our structure in January. Unfortunately, our dog Charlie lost his mind and barked at him like a rabid animal. I had never seen him do this before, and frankly, was mortified. The inspector was good-natured, and said he’d prefer to have Charlie inside, if only to save his clean pants from muddy dog paws. It was only 9 a.m., after all.
After securing Charlie in the house, the inspector and I walked to the coop. He looked closely at the foundation, and cautioned me to watch for small animals burrowing under the rat wall. He marveled at the metal roof, and said the structure was properly weather-proofed.
The girls were hiding out in the hen house, so I opened the door and let him take a peek.
“One-two-three. And they all appear to be girls,” he said.
Gigi, Loretta and Nellie chirped away, oblivious.
He mentioned that the chickens will lay eggs for three to four years. “And then they’re either free-range or free dinner,” he said, with a chuckle.
“Oh, not these girls,” I assured him. “They will move into a happy retirement.”
Before he left, the inspector handed me a green sticker, and told me he would be returning on a yearly basis to inspect the coop and the chickens.
And with that, the Chicken Scratch Fever farm is officially official.