Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stopping to smell the roses or watching the chickens free range….

A couple of years ago, I began keeping chickens. Just as with my birds, I’m very protective of my chickens. I haven’t ever let them out of the walk-in flight to free range because I worried about getting them back in, predators, the dogs, the cats, etc, etc, etc….. Well, after some discussion on the Bantam chickens yahoo group this week, I made the decision to let them out for a while yesterday afternoon.
They had a ball! They tended to my flower beds. “Mom, these plants have leaves on them.” One very quick polish/cochin black chick very efficiently nipped a leaf and ran like crazy back to the walk-in with his prize. He very proudly showed the more shy chicks his leaf as if to entice them all outside. My largest silkie roo walked around the cockatoo cage in his usual distinguished manner until he realized those seeds and pellets under there were mighty tasty. My Old English bantams patrolled parrot row between the aviary and the gazebo, while the silkies, cochins, and polish flock covered the upper part of the backyard next to our pond and deck. I started rounding them up about 6:30 after I had done bird rounds for the night. The silkies, polish and cochins were fairly easy to get back to the walk-in –put the food out and here they came! However, the Old English bantams had decided to roost in a small tree next to the aviary. So the chase was on! I got them out of the tree and had to run around with a long-handle bird net to catch those little demons. They are not as tame or easily led as the silkies! Thank goodness there are only five of them. I caught three hens and the roo, but one little hen decided she wasn’t going back to the coop.
She promptly ran down in the woods and hid. I worried myself sick over that chicken – even had Steve outside with the flashlight looking for her after dark. This morning she was standing right next to her coop waiting patiently to go in. Little demon…..I really loved watching all of them play and will let them free range again in the next day or two.

No comments: