When I was growing up, farmers were considered kind of backwards, like the hayseeds wearing overalls on Hee Haw.
My son Ian, 26, the organic farmer, has taught me otherwise. Farmers are problem-solvers and fix-its who care about the earth and animals. We would be very hungry without farmers.
After Ian took care of my small flock of backyard chickens when I was in St. John Virgin Islands for a week, he announced, "We have to make some changes in the chicken coop so you don't have to go inside of the coop every day."
When backyard chicken keepers go in the coop to refill the water and feed, and to gather eggs, we bring in snow and bring out chicken manure on boots.
Chickens like to stay dry, especially when it's cold outside. Humans don't like chicken manure in boots.
Ian and I rearranged everything: the nesting boxes, the electrical outlet, a roosting perch, the locations of the feed and water, and installed a new egg door. All of the renovations are egg-cellent. It took about an hour for three of us. Bob got involved in installing the egg collection door.
Now we have four doors -- one for humans, two for chickens [one is a fire exit :-) ], and one to collect eggs -- thanks to my smart, problem-solving farmer son. I like the convenience and clean boots. The chickens like to be dry.
Note to self: building a chicken coop requires lots of hinges and doors of all sizes.