My dusty feathery friends have recently been my angry dusty feathery friends. They have been displeased with being penned up, displeased with the weather, and displeased with my treat delivery (or lack thereof).
Today, in an attempt to repurchase their affection, I let the chickens free range. Oh the chickeny joy!
Mr. Big strutted out the pen gate and marched the flock to the nearest clover patch. De, Vo, IQ, Buffy, and Robin followed as if in a dream, seeming to float 6 inches above the ground. Then they set to work kicking dirt all over me.
While Doctor Dolittle grilled our lunch, the flock made the rounds of the yard. They worked over the back fence and clucked happily. They dug through the weeds by the back door and clucked happily. They made their way to the front fence eating bugs and slugs and grass and roots and unknowable things that made them cluck happily.
We had lunch on the porch and IQ joined us at the table. Doc gave her half a pierogi. Oh the chickeny joy! She greedily consumed the treat and wiped potato bits off her beak.
In the afternoon, Doc tried putting out a bowl of oats with a dollop of lemon pudding. Mr. Big called the flock over to sample the new treat. He watched as each hen took a mouthful, shook her head, and ran off to get away from the yucky awful horrible terrible lemony stuff. Then Mr. Big took a mouthful, shook his head.... Well, he is handsome more than smart.
Having exhausted the meager resources of the wintry yard, they allowed themselves to be guided back into the pen. They clucked their approval of the days excursion and made their way to the coop for a well-earned rest.
Ah, happy chickens!