I enjoy my chickens a lot. They seem to always be up to things. I never know what they are going to be up to next. For example the other day I walked through the living room, glanced out at the back deck and saw this:
But as you can see they have run of the yard, and won’t be confined to the orchard – they always manage to sneak out and go exploring. Unfortunately that meant Tuesday morning I was getting hay, and the chickens were around front (or so I thought), and Barclay and Alki were in the orchard where the coop is. I went to get hay for the llamas, and was only a short distance away, when I ran back hearing squawking, and saw Barclay had one of the new hens by the tail! He got a mouthful of feathers, and she went running flapping away! Well, of course who could resist, now he started chasing, the other chickens came to see what was happening, they got chased, it was chaos – until I finally told him to sit and for some reason he did, long enough for me to grab his leash.
When it was all over the new hen had vacated the area. She was GONE!
Friends said ‘don’t worry, she’ll come home when she’s hungry’, but Wednesday and Thursday went by, still no chicken. I figured she was gone for good.
This morning I was feeding the chickens some bread, and counted and everyone I expected was there. They all had a great time, Big Bird was eating out of my hand, and when I was done I went out to work in the shop. I glanced out the window and saw a buff hen under the neighbor’s tree. Hmm? How did a hen get over there so fast, we were just all around back! So I ran back to the coop and counted, and everyone was still there, so the hen under the tree was my wayward hen!
Dave came with me and we walked over to the neighbor’s place and kind of cornered her under the tree. She climbed up in it, and put in a little effort to get away, but not much. I snagged a foot and pulled her flapping out of the tree, quickly got her safely tucked under my arm, and talked nice to her all the way home. She didn’t mind being carried at all, once she was caught she settled right down. I took her back and put her in the coop with her sister.
So tonight I’m back to my full house of ten chickens – Big Bird the rooster, New Rooster, the 2 buff sisters, Penny the Cochin, the two new hens, and the 3 wild chickens. I told Dave we need to expand the chicken coop now! At least I know they’re warm – look at them packed in there! I have been leaving the top open to make room for extra seating 🙂