Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Poultry Tale

Owning chickens is much more complicated than I had once thought. We first purchased a hand made coop and had it delivered. Sam found ten one year old Leghorns and we began the adventure of chicken ownership. The coop was originally located opposite the garage-for ease of collecting eggs, grain and water replenishment and keeping an eye on the critters. I never imagined that the landscaping around the front of the house would be ravaged. Everyday chickens were cavorting all about the lawn and flower beds in search of insects. There they were scratching here and there throwing bark about and digging up the myrtle. Sam thought it was best to move the coop down near the barn and let them reek havoc there. Great. We moved the coop to the backside of the barn and confined the chickens to their new home for 2 days. On the third day I let them out. They fled from the coop and ran straight towards the house and the flowerbeds!! Grr.
In the evening, Noah was very distressed because seven chickens had returned to the coop while four were missing. We began the search. Eventually they were found huddled under a storage shelf in the garage. Taima, myself, Miriam and Noah each grabbed one and returned them to the coop. I confined them again for 2 days to the coop to ensure that they would learn where they lived and return at dusk. The following morning I let them out and directed them towards the compost pile and not the house. They were satisfied for a few hours. When I looked out the window later in the morning they were scratching and pecking about the house. Forget it. They are more determined than I am. Again at dusk they began to make their way back to their house--except for two. Sam found them behind the bench on the front porch. As he attempted to catch them they squawked and flew, feathers flying about! He managed to grab one and take it down to the coop while the other spent last night out in the garden. Today Noah bought a chicken hook and practiced catching them this afternoon. They must have finally taken the hint because they all faithfully went to bed in their coop tonight!! Tamara