Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Chicken Prison

The wonderful thing about coming down with a head cold on the Sunday evening before a week-long school break is that I don't have to write out lesson plans for a substitute.  I'm getting as much enjoyment as possible from being sick without any distractions, but this is not as fun as one might think.  Sigh.

Yesterday was a good day.  I pruned about half of our roses while Bruce raised the fence around the chicken coop, which is now looking more like a chicken prison.  That's OK with me.

Captain Jack contemplating freedom
Our younger birds have learned how to escape the coop with ease: some by hopping onto the branches of the pine tree and, from there, sailing over the fence; some by getting a running start on the hill and launching over a low spot in the fence; some, like Houdini, get out by some sort of chicken magic.

If they just wandered around the yard and ate bugs, there would be no problem.  But hens love nothing more than scratching for grubs in loose dirt.  Like in my garden.  They've learned how to easily get over all the small fences that Bruce put up around my various beds.  What those chicken feet can do to tiny bulbs, sprouting tubers and seedlings would make any gardener cry.

Looking innocent, as only a hen can

Hen up to no good

The hens look pleasantly picturesque as they putter around the place.  Oh, but those chicken feet, tipped with sharp chicken talons can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.  And they always seem to find my prettiest and most delicate plants. Weeds, they leave alone.

So now our plump little hens are incarcerated behind a nine foot high fence and not liking it one bit.

Today only two of them managed to escape.

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