i came home from work to find two of The Girls in the driveway. at some point the wind blew open the door the fenced in chicken run when nobody was home and even though they have a giant whole fenced in yard to explore these two adventurers will find a way out, over or under the fence. who knows how long they were walking around the neighborhood. this is their “OMG WE’RE BUSTED BY THE GIANT GIVER OF FOOD!!!!!!” face.
a more timid barred rock was, true to character, sitting in the chicken run refusing to even consider the possibility of exploring.
years ago, when we first got chickens and i was unaware of how easily they could get around the fence in the yard and how far they’d roam, i came home to discover a policeman and dog catcher had stopped to round up the flock of chickens that had escaped and were blocking traffic in the street.
the police came back the next day and, more nicely than i would have if it were me, let me know it had better not happen again. i was surprised they didn’t charge me a fee
these two are so funny. whenever i enter into the chicken run they’re all super friendly and curious about whether or not i have any compost for them. the barred rock scatters and is all, “nope. NOPE. NOOOOOPE!” i think they even like to be pet, or at least they tolerate it but the CDC says no kissing or cuddling ( seriously gross )!
The Girls, er, egg frida on to help them escape from the chicken run. They “talk” to her and if we don’t catch her she’ll move the logs and dig under the run or gnaw at the metal mesh to create an opening big enough for them to escape. She never tries to eat them. She just wants them TO BE FREE!
We do let them out into the yard but not as much as they want
it’s a little hard to see but this is one spot in the mesh where frida is gnawed an opening that we’ve had to repair.
building the chicken coop next to the compost bin was an ace move. we don’t get much compost anymore because The Girls convert kitchen scraps to eggs first.
living in a rural area, having backyard chickens makes no economic sense since fresh eggs are readily available and, almost literally, a dime a dozen. but the daily routine of saying “Hallo!” while feeding The Girls always makes me a smile which, i think, is priceless.
making odin french toast with eggs collected straight from the coop even more so
fresh eggs from The Girls are piling up. so eggnog pie for us ( uses egg yolks ) and macaroons ( uses egg whites ) for odin’s hockey team.
with the shortened days, normally chickens stop laying eggs in november and go into molt. but nobody told The Girls. so, yay, we’re still getting fresh eggs!
they are so funny when i open the side nesting box. it’s like i’ve created a whole new and interesting world. every. single. time.
kris went out the coop at the end of the day to check on The Girls and happened to look in the nesting box and discovered they’ve started laying eggs! whooohoooo! fresh eggs!
it seems like just yesterday we were attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls.
when i lifted open the lesting box, The Girls were all “oh hey! we didn’t know it did that!”
we’ve been watching a few of the suspect roosters and it’s much more evident that probably three of our latest flock of six are probably roosters, which is a bit of drag because roosters in town are a no-no.
the prominent combs are a giveaway in addition to the fact that they are practicing cock-a-doodle-dooing.
update: a few weeks later.
we found a good home for them with someone who appreciates and can have roosters
our dearly departed pushkin never gave a second thought to eating the hens, in fact, he was The Great Defender of All Members of The Pack and was known to shoo cats away who prowled around to give them trouble.
but we suspected frida, having the genetics of a very predatory malamute, might be tough to teach that the chickens were not food. so we started training her when they were chicks and while she tried super hard to be good, i wasn’t very confident that she’d be able to control herself outside when the were running around, scratching and pecking and clucking.
they’ve been out in the chicken run surrounding the coop for afew months – which is plenty of space for them – but they’ve really been wanting to run around the yard to munch on bugs. so today i decided to let them out and see what would happen.
while she was interested in what they were doing, i was very surprised to see her leave them alone. and even more surprised to see them walk up to her.
i’m not going to leave them along for any extended periods of time but i’m cautiously optimistic they might all live in harmony