It is with some relief that I confirm that our chickens are now in the run here at home.
The day was not without trauma though…
Early this morning, I emptied 2 plastic crates while Stu found some leftover chicken wire to place over the top of them.
We arrived at our friends’ house at 10.30am precisely, proud to demonstrate our vast knowledge of all things chicken.
We got out of the car and stood at the coop to have a quick look at the chickens before our friends emerged from their house.
“I wonder where the white chicken is?”, Stu commented.
“Probably laying an egg”, I replied.
We heard a door close and turned to see our friends walking over to the coop. The father (“A”) was carrying two large cardboard boxes, complete with breathing holes and appropriate labelling (“Chicken Express”).
“We’ve brought plastic crates and chicken wire”, I announced proudly.
“These might be better. I’ll tape them down. They won’t escape”, he replied rather dryly.
Escape is not something we’d considered. Lesson One learned.
He then walked into the run to hustle the chickens into the hutch, emerging shortly after with nothing.
“We’ve had a death”, he said in a rather matter of fact way.
I’d like to say that he was white-faced and that there were tears rolling down his cheeks…but I can’t.
“It’s happened before”, he announced, “Weasels poke their heads through the wooden slats”.
He promptly flung the beautiful white Livorno with the bloodied neck far into the forest.
We stood stunned, until we heard the small voice of A’s wife, “C”.
“Wow, she must have preferred death to your place!”, she stated.
Tension lifted for a few seconds until I became slightly obsessed about the death of all things living.
By the time I’d recovered, “A” had loaded the remaining 3 hens and 1 rooster into the boxes, taped the tops down securely and placed them in our car!
A quick farewell and we were on our way, chickens gurgling happily in the back of the car.
On arrival at home, we carried the cardboard boxes to the run and opened them.
Interestingly, the hens stayed in the boxes, crouched down and confused, until the rooster emerged and encouraged them out!
Male superiority is not something I’d normally admit to. Lesson Two learned.
We are currently in the process of naming our chicken family so I’ll post on that subject tomorrow…
(For those readers who are worried that all future blog posts will be chicken-related, RELAX – I promise I still have other interests!)