Oh my word.
Let me back up.
We built a beautiful, sturdy new chicken and goat pen. By “we,” I mean not me at all, but Hank + some buddies. Two nights ago, Hank stretched the new fence all around the posts nice and tight, and last night, he and I caught the five big girls and put them in their new pen with their temporary small coop until the new one gets built. Squiggy the Chicken is either already laying eggs somewhere in the backyard or is very, very close to starting, and we want to a) have her used to laying in the nesting box, and b) move all of the chickens out of the backyard and into the coop area. Kinda tired of hosing off the back deck twice a day and having what plants we do have eaten by chickens. :) Living and learning.
I’ll back up again. Watching us novice chicken handlers trying to catch chickens is HILARIOUS. I cannot even imagine how idiotic we look, but I would bet money that it’s even better than Chicken TV.
As soon as we put the girls in their new area, three of them (Nike, Fred, and George Weasley), flew up onto the corner areas of the fence and hopped right back out. We had to catch them AGAIN. It was a little easier since it was dusk and they were trying to roost for the evening, but not much.
This morning, Holden came in from grabbing something out of the car before school and asked, “Why is there a chicken in the yard?” We went outside to find FOUR of the girls sitting on the backyard fence, just watching the world go by without a care in the world. We enlisted the help of Ewan to corner them and get them back in the pen while our neighbor and her dogs laughed (yes, I swear her dogs were laughing, too). Hank then decided to run baling twine across the top of the pen, hoping that would keep the girls in and the hawks out.
We felt pretty proud of ourselves and off we went, hauling kids to school and staying a while at Holden’s to make fun of him while he helped lead Friday All-School Movement (he was hating life while Hank and I laughed so hard that we snorted).
I just came home to this.
Three girls are happily dusting themselves IN THE BACKYARD under a thorny bush. They’ve called my bluff, knowing I won’t go under there again. Fooled me once, girls.
So now, after consulting my chicken books:
I’m off to buy a very sharp pair of scissors so that we can clip their wings this afternoon. Evidently, you only clip certain ones on one side, which throws them off balance when they try to fly. It doesn’t hurt, but we will have to do it again yearly after their molt.
You guys. The chickens are winning.