Up until now the chickens have had free reign on the property, other then being locked up at night in their roosts. They could run their errands in the garden, on the lawn, in the pasture, and in the barn. They take their errands very seriously, each chicken heads to her assigned area each morning. I suspect they have a foreman who sets the schedule each day.
It’s that time of year to start the garden. Chickens can, and will, eat your garden plants under the auspices of pest eradication and fertilization.
On Saturday we reconfigured their fencing so they had a bigger portion of pasture and we could shut the gate behind them. There was a bendy place in the chicken wire they could get over and a spot next to one of the roosts they could get through but J and R took care of those Sunday.
Last night they settled into their roosts. Chickens put themselves to bed so night is the best time to get them all in one place secure and happy. J locked the roosts. I unlocked the roosts this morning and secured both gates behind me. All the chickens set out on their errands. The teams assigned to the garden and lawn were distressed. “Who put this gate in our way?!” They lined up along the gate pacing back and forth. If they had tin cups I’m sure they would have been rattling them.
I smugly headed up to the house and had my breakfast. A reddish gold bundle of feathers caught my eye. Yup, a chicken patrolling the lawn. A grey hen up by the garden. A black hen in the potted plants. Most of the black australorps headed around behind the garage.
J and I looked towards the coops after I assured her everything was locked up tight. The australorps had found a skinny gap they were squeezing through one at a time. So how were the others getting out? That route was simple. A quick hop to the edge of the water bucket, a short flight to the top rail of the fence, and a big jump softened by outstretched wings down. Freedom, sweet freedom.
Good morning chickens, good morning sheep.