gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

A bird in the hand

on June 18, 2012

Yesterday evening I decided to open the coop door and let the hens have the freedom of the garden for a short while. The very idea of this gives me nerves like I am watching one of the boys when they were little riding off on a bike for the first time, or going down a slide on their own. (The dog, who is nursing a sore leg, was safely locked up inside the house. )
Apollo was out like a shot, heading straight for the dandelions at the side of the lawn. Colonel Saunders wasn’t too far behind with Darling shadowing her. Poor timid Violet however remained within the coop, perhaps to scratch up the remains of the corn I had thrown in earlier for a snack while the others weren’t there to bother her. It was interesting to watch that they chose to peck at our weeds rather than our plants. In fairness there probably are more weeds than plants, they seem to grow faster and more abundantly than anything else in our garden.
The only other time they were allowed to roam I found it very difficult to catch them, without their wings being clipped they can still fly, and they did! I thought now they were more used to me and would be more inclined to let me pick them up when it was time to return to the safety of the coop. Mr Gillybirds came out to enjoy the spectacle, he picked some longer grass and held it out as you would do for a horse or cattle in a field. Well, immediately Apollo came over and started to eat from his hand, followed shortly after by Col. Saunders. It was a lovely moment. Darling had already returned of her own accord to the coop, and by this time it was raining quite heavily so we picked them up and brought them back home. I think this is the first time Mr G has touched a hen, never mind lifted one, so it was a real bonding session.
Today’s egg was a normal brown one again, thank goodness, number 36! It was from gentle Violet who appeared to take all morning to lay it.
Poor doggie has torn muscles in his shoulder, he is on painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, and is only to have very short walks. He is delighted with all the attention and the excuse to take life easy for a few days. No change there then. The possibility of a wee fresh egg to boost his recovery is being considered.

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