Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bad Chickens

As I have said before, each season presents a unique set of challenges. One spring it was aggressive bluebirds-they would attack anything reflective. All day they would furiously thrash the shiny flashing of our chimney pipe. The side mirrors of our cars also felt their wrath. We had an invasion of skunks one year, theiving eggs and burrowing under the sides of buildings to munch on our youngest birds. Last fall, we had to keep all the chickens in lock down, because the hawk predation was so fierce, and we had a family of Bald eagles in the mix, they would kill four or five chickens at a time, and carry them off into the air, kicking and screaming, with us on the ground looking helplessly on! This year, the hawks seem to be downright friendly. There are several pairs nesting nearby, and I hear and see them every day. Steve and I have both seen them perched on the fence around our henhouse, BUT, nary a feather on a little head harmed. Go figure.

So, this, my friends, is the season of chicken anarchy. Normally, those with moveable paddocks have been content and cozy with our four foot electronet (not electrified) fence from Premier. Something's gotten into them now, though. Fence, shmence, they say, I can see greener grass over there! And away they go.

I suppose I feel sort of flattered, in a way, to have raised such a flock of free thinkers and go getters. It can be irritating, however, when it is time to close them up for bed at night, and I have to trek far into the pasture to round up strays.

Perhaps they are telling me that they need yet more room to roam. Perhaps the total lack of predation this year has emboldened them. Maybe our resident herd of 17 deer are a bad influence.

Ms Wiley definitely goes where she likes, she frequently ambles along behind the tractor when I am doing the chores.

When she comes to visit us on the porch, Farmer Steve says: Chicken on the porch-chicken in the pan! This makes her laugh.

What does one do when one's chickens go "wild"?

1 comment:

Billie Jane said...

I love this post. Your chickens look such fun... we have recently halved our 'flock' from 4 to 2... dont know what got them... one dead in the pen, the other gone, lots of feathers left behind... but probably it was a fox... we dont have such exotic predators as you. But like you, we do have chickens with character.