What came first- the chickens or the blog?


on October 27, 2013

Most days the Gillybirds have an opportunity to free range around the garden in the autumn sunshine which they love, and which I get a great deal of pleasure from observing them. One drawback is the noise the dogs make trying to get outside to join in the fun. Early this week however I forgot that they were roaming free and got stuck into some household chores. When I eventually remembered about an hour later I went outside armed with a handful of tempting corn, making the chucking noises that the girls know heralds the arrival of Mrs G and her treats. Two immediately came scuttling out of their hidey holes towards me. One didn ‘t. They usually travel around the garden as a pack, scratching under bushes, dust rolling along hedges, jumping in and out of flower pots and scattering soil everywhere. So immediately I was a little worried that they were not all together.
I secured the other two safely in the coop then started searching all the usual favoured spots, then the borders, then the yard, round the front of the house, and noticed the front gates were both open. In a bit of a flap I looked up and down the street for a flurry of rusty feathers. Not easy when there are so many piles of autumn leaves on the ground. I should say that Naughty Lucas the puppy is a bit of an expert at escaping from our garden which we have tried to secure as best we can.
After around half an hour our feathered escapee returned, chucking contentedly, none the worse for wear. I think she found a small gap and hopped through to a garden behind ours, checked it out, and then hopped back through. Relief! I was in such a tizz I didn’t even check which hen it was who had gone AWOL.
My hen was not the only creature to break free this week in our city.
A search is continuing for two missing monkeys who escaped from Belfast Zoo on Monday.
This report on missing Macaque monkeys has made national news –
The two are part of a group of six lion-tailed macaques who made the great escape from their enclosure, wrong-footing their keepers who remain in hot pursuit.
One of the escapees was brought down in a “rugby tackle” by a keeper that, a member of the public suggested, would make him a shoe-in for the Ireland rugby team. Four of the animals have since been caught but the elusive duo are still at large.

A statement from zoo manager Mark Challis said: “Six lion-tailed macaques escaped from Belfast Zoo on Monday.”Four of the macaques have since been returned to their enclosure, where they have rejoined the rest of the group.
“The other two animals have been sighted onsite or in close proximity to the zoo. We have been monitoring their movements over the past few days and we have a number of traps and staff located in the areas where they are frequently being spotted. We are confident that all of the macaques will soon be found and returned to their enclosure. If anyone sees the lion-tailed macaques we would ask them to contact the zoo immediately. Although they pose no danger to the public, we would ask that you do not attempt to approach or catch the them”.
(From Sky News Bulletin)
If I hear a suspicious rustling in the trees or bushes I know who to look out for!

One response to “AWOL

  1. zeudytigre says:

    We have neighbours who made a small doorway in their fence and put down seed to encourage the pheasants that live in the wood at the back of our houses to visit their garden. One summer, my hens found a way through our fence to the wood and quickly discovered this feast. The neighbours were lovely about the regular invasion which we only managed to stop by burying chicken wire several inches underground along the entire fence line to stop them scratching out their escape tunnels. It can be very worrying when they don’t reappear at evening curfew 🙂

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