Poultry In Motion

Yesterday I was hanging laundry on the clothesline. I enjoy this task because our “Enchanted Forest” is so beautiful and peaceful. I drink in the forest, the wildflowers growing in the sunny places, birds flying about and singing, and the chickens contentedly clucking in the background. Once in a while, I see something unexpected. As I hung clothes on the line yesterday, I suddenly heard a chicken squawking in alarm. Only…I was confused because the sound was coming from the wrong direction—down the driveway to the south instead of from their pen in the north. As I tried to figure it out, I saw a large bird fly up into the trees. Ahhh. It was a turkey seeking refuge in the branches from some threat. Then I observed a turkey emerge from the weeds and stand in the middle of the driveway. I saw the movement of other turkeys in the weeds behind it. Suddenly, our cat Theo erupted from the weeds near the turkeys and ran full speed up the driveway to the house. Apparently, Theo was the “threat.” While the one turkey flew up to the trees for safety, the others apparently spooked Theo. In a match between Theo and turkeys, I’d bet the turkeys coming out as clear winners. Theo is sweet, but he’s a bit of a dunderhead.

Yesterday afternoon I walked around the back of the coop and saw an egg laying in the ground. “Hmmm,” I thought. “A hen must have decided to lay her egg here rather than in the coop.” It’s never happened before, but who knows what a chicken decides to do? I picked the egg up and saw the “x” on it, which I had made to indicate it was a wooden egg. I bought six of them several weeks ago to put in the nesting boxes to try to discourage a hen(s) from eating eggs. It hasn’t really worked because I still find broken eggs now and then. Lately, I have been unable to find some of the wooden eggs. Our coop is actually a 10 x 12 shed. I don’t think a chicken would/could roll a wooden egg all the way around the coop so “Something Else” must have done it. Maybe a hen isn’t breaking the eggs. A mystery unfolds. Is it a mouse? A snake? Something else?

The young chickens continue to be rebellious about going to bed in the coop in the evening. Last night, for the third time in a row, the adults were all snug in the coop while three of the young ones were playing outside. I have no idea if they will try to remain outside as it grows darker, and I don’t want to try to chase them in the coop in the dark, so I try to get them inside when I see that the adults are all in. Our Alpha rooster has always stayed outside on guard until the last chicken is safely inside so at least the chicks aren’t without adult supervision. Finally, the chicks went in through the little chicken-sized door. All present and accounted for in the coop at last.

While I was chasing chicks in the pen, there was a “food riot” in the coop as all the chickens–adults and young ones–scrambling to get the weeds I’d tossed in.

I’ve never had so much trouble getting chickens in the coop. This young bunch is very rebellious and apparently do not respond to wise advice. I think that this evening I’m just going to try to hold off to see if they will go in by themselves. EJ will be home so if it gets too dark, he can help me. I envision us holding flashlights as we chase chickens about the pen. LOL.

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