Yesterday was moving day for the coop and chickens. The vegetable garden is pretty much done although there is a lot of stuff still in there, overgrown and rotting. The fall chill is in the air and it was time to begin the fall to winter preps. The coop had been over by the garage with the fencing including a huge old apple tree surrounded by jewelweed. The chickens loved it there although they had pretty much cleaned the area of vegetation. I figured the garden would be a great spot for them to clean up and fertilize at the same time.
Moving the coop is always stressful. It is so heavy that the tractor will only lift if off of the ground by about a foot. We managed to get it over to the garden. I then moved the fence. I let the chickens roam around thinking they would be easy to move with some sweet little snack. I was wrong. They spent the majority of the day around the apple tree and although I coaxed them over more than once they had no interest in going near the strange spot their coop was in.
They finally left the tree area at the end of the day and wandered over to the garden but had no interest in going into their new area. I got out the big guns – a pumpkin spice english muffin. The rooster and hen happily went into the garden fence but the other 9 hens were nowhere to be seen. It was getting a little late in the day and I was getting a little nervous. I called and called and finally saw their little heads coming up over the bank to the back forty on the other side of the yard. Apparently they had gone on a little adventure. Seven more into the enclosure.
When the head count was done Bill and I had to search for the last two. They were snuggled in among some rocks over the bank and were not going anywhere so I had Bill flush them out. They ran for the coop, one of them tangling herself in the fencing (they still think they are small enough to go through it). Once all enclosed they discovered what a wonderland the garden is. Bugs, seeds, berries, a veritable smorgasbord for chickens. They stayed out until dark which is unusual, they usually go in at dusk.
About nine o’clock Bill went out to lock the shed door and heard a chicken clucking over by the apple tree – an escapee. He held the flashlight and ran interference until I finally caught her and put her in the coop. I did another head count and all were there on their roost. Finally all was right with the world – at least mine.