September 13, 2010

Chicken Wrangling

My chickens are escaping.

One evening during the fair I had three hens out of the chicken coop. I caught one and put her back but did not have time to catch the other two - they did not want to give up their freedom - so I left them to fend for themselves. The next morning there was one live hen plus a bunch of feathers, a wing, and a cat gnawing on a chicken foot. I put the surviving bird back in the coop.

Saturday there were two more loose hens, but I made sure I put them away no matter how long it took, and it took awhile. I shut the door to the little chicken yard, trapping the flock inside the coop until I can figure out where they are getting through the fence.

I love free-range chickens; they look so happy as they scratch in the dirt and straw, but as you can see, we have a predator problem, so I keep them safe in their coop and yard. It's really too hot to confine them in the coop right now without access to their yard, so fixing their chicken-wire fence is a priority this week.

The goats love to rub their sides against the scratchy chicken wire fencing, and to put their hooves on the fencing as they gaze longingly into the forbidden chicken yard. I know they are responsible for most of the holes in the chickens' fencing. I evidently need to find and fix another one.

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