Tag Archives: great-horned owls

Outbuildings #4 – The Chicken Coop


Most of the real work on the farm happened in the barn, in the fields, and in the house. Some of the outbuildings were so specific in purpose that they were often hastily erected and as quickly abandoned when seasons or activities changed. Others had longer lives and a bigger presence. They were spread out around the property in an almost haphazard way. A few of them I remember from childhood, but others I know only from photos. – see Outbuildings #1, Outbuildings #2, Outbuildings #3.


The Chicken Coop

This outbuilding lasted the longest of any on the farm. When the garage was starting to fall in upon itself, this little coop still stood sporting its faded red paint. In the early 1950’s it was home to four great-horned owl babies. My cousin Skip found them abandoned and brought them to my grandmother Agnes. She put them in the old chicken coop and raised them until they could be released.

She let us follow her inside at feeding time. The owls were terrifying. Their heads swiveled and their eyes stared fiercely as they grabbed at the food my grandmother offered – lumps of raw hamburger formed into balls stuck onto the end of a stick. My grandmother wore large gloves and her own fierce expression as she fed the screeching babies – she was very brave.

"Chicken Coop," Carol Crump Bryner, pen, 2013

“Chicken Coop,” Carol Crump Bryner, pen, 2013

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