As it turns out, having chickens is BETTER than I imagined- and we don’t even have eggs yet! Have you ever seen a chicken chase a butterfly, “ride” a bicycle or sneak up on a sleeping dog? They are so funny, curious and all henny-pennyish.
From their cardboard box brooder to their fancy Amish-made coop they have grown and flourished! Whew.
There is something so relaxing and pastoral about seeing them out pecking about, perhaps like watching a lazy cat napping in a sunbeam. It makes me stop, hesitate and acknowledge the simple beauty of daily life.
They are officially free range…. and super nosey. If there is an open door they will go through it and we are concerned that they may be conspiring to get into the house.
Although we purchased electric mesh poultry fencing, we never electrified it. (I wasn’t quite sure if we were keeping the chickens in or the predators out with the electric fencing.) When they were little they wiggled through the square mesh. Now they are too plump to get through even with a running start. Thankfully we haven’t seen any predators during the day and the coop is built like Fort Knox so I rest easy at night. The girls head right up the ramp by dusk and I play them like a harp (with petting) when they are sitting with their backs to me on their roost. It’s funny and bizarre and (confession) I can’t keep my hands off of them.
We have a lovely variety.
Stormy– The Polish Hen. Her plume has grown so big that she can’t see a thing and is always getting left behind. She’s reminds us all of Cher in one of her Bob Mackie get ups.
Then there is Dawn Stripe– a Speckled Sussex- brave, yet friendly.
Lucille– the Rhode Island Red- friendly, curious. She likes to peck at my rings and bracelets.
Noodles– Ameraucana- a beautiful bird! Prettier every day. She lays Easter eggs… blue and green. Oh joy.
Philomena– Plymouth Barred Rock. Love her. She is the biggest, fluffiest and the most curious. She always is the first to come over and say hello and she loves to be hand fed clover.
Photo to come…
Last but not least is Countess Cluck– a Silkie. She is the runt of the group and squirts through the fence with the greatest of ease. She is still a little puff ball compared to the others.
Those presumptuous birds think that the potager was planted just for them. They speed up and down the garden paths, rarely vearing into planted beds- much to my relief. While sitting on the garden bench, they quietly coo and preen like ladies gossiping at lunch. Can you tell that I find them enchanting? If they had started pecking my tomatoes however, the spell… would be broken.
We are saving our egg cartons for the big day! Soon the nesting boxes will be open for business. Maybe we will even sell eggs in our new CRAZY wonderful gypsy farmstand!! Did you see how that got started??? Putting the finishing touches on it soon to be put away for the winter. Next Spring say hello to the HEDGES & HARES farm stand on Old Seneca Turnpike!