Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free Range Surprise

My flock normally spends their nights in a coop and their days in the fenced 1/3 acre wood lot I call the run. They have turned over every inch of the run and it is now composed of trees, brush, pine needles, dirt, and poo. I am planning to sow forage and extend the run next year.
Temporarily obedient hens foraging in the run
Today the smart hen and the rooster made a run for it. I discovered this while putting up holiday decorations on the porch.

The two wanderers were foraging in the yard acreage while the rest of the flock stressed out running back and forth along the fence. Knowing a lost cause when I see one I made the best of the inevitable. I locked the front gate and opened the gate to the chicken run. It took all of 28 seconds to haze the hens out to join the feasting pair.

They ranged over the acre nearest the house, including my secret grasshopper hunting ground. Oh the chickeny joy! The alpha hen jumped to eat the seed tops from the tallest unkempt grass. The others ranged across the driveway and around the back, eating bugs, seeds, and weeds while the rooster kept watch.

When the flock was ready to go back to the coop they cleverly piled up at the fence closest to the coop instead of walking around through the open gate. Guess they can't all be brilliant. I had to tempt them into the coop with a bowl of Black Oil Sunflower Seed.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy, you opened Pandora's box. I can just hear the complaining in the morning now, when they all want OUT!