You guys! My chickens are being really, really naughty. That sounded weird, but what I mean is that they are not at all behaving. They get out of our yard every day and I just can’t keep them in! Answering the front door is a roll of the dice these days:
Will it be the repairman, worriedly glancing to the left. Upon opening, a chicken casually walks in from the left and cocks her head as if to say “Can I come in too?”
Will it be the neighbor, breathlessly asking if I have chickens. They’re in her yard! Wait, where exactly does she live again?
Will it be a mom, dropping off a friend of the kids, asking “So, you have chickens?” in a tone that suggests equal parts disgust and curiosity.
Sometimes the royals next door (you can read about them here) will call my husband at work to report an escape, and then I’ll get a text and I don’t even have to answer the door.
These are our second set of chickens, and I must say, they are very different than the first. The first ones hardly ever left the yard and the problem was only clipping their wings. Once we did that, they couldn’t fly over the fence. So, when these newer chickens started escaping, we clipped their wings, like so:
But that doesn’t keep this lot in. They can still fly or maybe there’s a hole in the fence somewhere I can’t find. Or maybe someone is letting them out.
So far, there has been no calamity. The neighbors aren’t mad, just concerned. And the chickens always come home to roost.
In an effort to make them love being in the yard more, I’ve taken to adding some snack times to their days. I’ll have to let our chicken sitter in on this or it’ll be like that scene in Lord of the Rings when Pip and Merry want to stop for breakfast and Aragon is all, “You’ve already had it” and Pippin’s like, “What about second breakfast?” and then Merry’s like, “I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip” and Merry’s all “What about elevenses?”
Maybe I’m Aragon in this scenario. I leave them access to their pellets of layer feed and water all day and I figure with that and whatever bugs and worms they find, they’re good. Maybe I should learn about whatever the chicken version of elevenses are. But for now, it’s a few grapes tossed out the back door whenever I think they might have, you know, flown the coop.
It seems like I’m always laughably bad at taking care of the things my charges (be they child or chicken) feel they need. And there’s always someone else who can totally do it better and with more aplomb.
My friend Colleen (who blogs over at A Madison Mom) shared this video with me a little while ago and wonders if I also cuddle with my chickens. Not so much. But, I am in awe of this woman and I think you will be too! And my chickens always say Mööb.