The CE has a reputation as a tough negotiator. His skills were honed by years of CEO-ness, before he title-waived the O and was elevated to the royal position of Chicken Emperor de Pollo Grande. He has wrestled mortgage rates to the ground – back in the late ’70’s when the going rate was headed above 14%, he managed to lock in a 10% rate, leaving the bank rep blinking and wondering whoa, what just happened. Maitre d’s have even been known to crumble before his powers; early in our relationship he dazzled me by somehow bypassing a half-block long line outside a popular restaurant and snagging us a coveted window seat.
They say that long-marrieds tend to absorb one another’s traits. Perhaps that is how I managed to accomplish my very own recent feat of negotiation, because yes, PolloPlayer readers, a new day has dawned in the Kingdom of Chickens: there WILL be a second coop.
Chez Poulet was barely completed before I saw that there would be a need down the line for Poulet Plus. Three chickens (R.I.P. dear Lily) does not quite a flock make and, as many of you know, I have designs on adding a few ladies to the dance card. It didn’t work out for this season, but all the better to have an extra year’s cushion – since hens lay prolifically only for two or three years maximum, it will be better to have that bit of space between our three girls and next wave of the work force.
The challenge is in what is called “flock integration”. Despite the fact that there is plenty of space, food and treats to go around, existing flocks are not known to be welcoming of new members. In extreme instances, the young ‘uns can actually be pecked to death if the transition isn’t handled just right. Thus the need for an auxiliary coop where, ideally, new pullets can be stashed safely at night and given some face time with their elders during the day until they are gradually accepted as bona fide flock members.
I started mumbled something about “a-s-econdcoop” last summer, which the CE did not even choose to dignify with a response. When I uttered the words more distinctly in the fall I only got as far as “a…second… -” before I was cut off with an “ABSOLUTELY NOT NO WAY DON’T EVEN MENTION IT”.
But just as winter turns to spring and spring to summer, ice and attitudes melt away, and the other day, when I pointed out a nifty little spot where a small auxiliary coop could be built, the CE glanced to to spot and spoke the words I’ve so long awaited: “Hmmm, yes, I think that could work.”
Yes, I realize I should have asked for diamonds or a round-the-world cruise when he’s in that frame of mind, but the truth is, what I really want is just a few more chickens. For the moment, that is…
Thank you, Dear