This is now my mantra. There is no such thing as the perfect garden. I tell myself this as I survey my small outside space and witness the scattered stones, holey borders and lopsided shrubs. Once upon a time, ten small chickens were my garden vandals and the damage was relentless but easy to repair. Now there is a dog. Enough said.
There is no such thing as a perfect hen house. I tell myself this as I climb in to the Palace with a long handled broom to get errant poo from the far corners. To be fair, this is the only criticism I have of the Palace. And really it's my problem. I have stumpy arms.
There is no such thing as a perfect flock. Since the very beginning of my chicken keeping adventure, I have yearned to have a picturesque huddle of hens, all in fine health and feather, arranging themselves artfully around the borders. This does not happen. One hen will always be moulting or purple from Gentian Violet after a punch up. Artful arrangement will go to the wall as they dustbath all of your plants out of existence. And don't get me started on their appalling toilet habits. A hot, sizzling curry poo on the back step in July soon evaporates any ideas of genteel beauty, let me tell you.
There is no such thing as a perfect integration. There will be squawking, and screeching, and someone will end up being systematically sat on by everyone else. I write this knowing that right now that someone is Betsy, as all ten birds are currently shut in the Palace. The weather has turned cold and I'm worried for my delicate serama. If the pekins can grudgingly accept them and let them move in, they will have eight snuggly duvets to hide under. But as I said, no integration is perfect. They may end up back in their hutch after all.
Meh, perfection would probably be dull.