This is my blog about the day to day lives of my little flock of pet chickens. They're a happy little flock, although they're totally crackers! If you want a laugh, they'll gladly give you one.


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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A wake up call

No. 1 Son is away on a well-deserved holiday, so the task of opening the chicken coop at some unearthly hour every morning has fallen to me recently.   And I am not a morning person.

Off I staggered this morning, opened them up, fed them and replenished their water.  I half listened to Titian giving me the latest gossip while I poo-picked.  The flock looked fit, healthy and were tucking into their breakfast with gusto.  All was well with their world, so I left them to it.

We have a padlock on their run gate, which is kept locked.   I carefully turned the key, pocketed it and went back to the house for a nice cup of tea.

If I just want to just check on the chickens, rather than sitting in the garden with them, there's a part of the fence I can lean on.  It allows me to look down into the run without actually having to go into the run itself.  So after breakfast I decided to go and have a quick peep at them.   I was horrified to discover that they were all missing!  Every - single - one.

The run gate was closed, so they had obviously been stolen by someone hoping to leave the place looking perfectly normal to the casual glance.   I raced down into the garden, dreading what I might find.  One part of me hoped and hoped they were all just being silly and were simply hiding in the smoking shelter.  But why would they do that?

I ran down the steps, rounded the corner and ..........  There they were - clustered together on my side of the gate, patiently waiting to be let back in!   I opened the gate, they stampeded back inside and headed straight for their food dishes.

I bet you're wondering how this could have happened, aren't you.  Well I did mention that I am not a morning person.  Please bear that in mind.

When I left the chicken run, as I've mentioned I carefully locked the padlock that secures the gate.   What I did not do, in my somnambulant state, was slide the bolt across first.  Neither did I close the bolt at the bottom.  So the gate was not secured in any way at all, even though it was closed!

After I had returned home and was supping my first cuppa of the day, along came a gust of wind and blew the gate open.   "Whoopee" chorused the Cluckers and made a dash for Freedom.   Then that perfidious wind blew the gate shut and they were all stuck outside.   They had a whale of a time!   They had access to all the places they are not usually allowed to visit.

So I now have pebbles from the path and one of the borders strewn all over the patio area.     My lawn is adorned with bark that originally surrounded the dwarf fruit trees.  These trees are now surrounded by the holes the chickens dug with gay abandon.  It's a similar story in the rose bed, except that the bark from that area is mostly covering the steps I had raced down earlier.

For some odd reason they left the daffodil bed and another flower bed alone.  I suspect they would have got round to them later, but someone heard me coming.   That was the signal for them to rush over and huddle round the gate looking forlorn and innocent.

Maggie missed out on all this.  She had gone into the coop to lay an early morning egg and was still there when I ushered everyone back into the run.  However she did come out to see what all the kerfuffle was about.   Unfortunately she left the nest box a shade too soon.  Her egg hadn't had time to dry before she stood up and walked away.  Consequently, it was stuck to her abundant Orpington bum feathers.   It looked very decorative, but I thought I'd better remove it before it got broken.

So today I have learned the hard way:  when you are solely responsible for looking after the pets you write about all the time - WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!

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