I sit on my back patio with a fresh, steaming cup of coffee.
Well, I’m about to sit before I realise that they is a large black and white, decidedly whiffy dollop of “fertiliser” steaming away my favourite seat.
Chickens are lovely, fluffy creatures, but their poop is not.
I get a cloth and wipe up the fragrant mess. As I’m putting the cloth in the laundry I notice white spots approximately stride length apart along the floor.
I’ve managed to walk through another “gift” from the chickens. I follow the trail all the way into the house, wiping it clear as I go.
I turn around to get back to my peaceful deck and delicious coffee, only to come face to face with Gertrude, our fluffiest chicken, and best layer.
She stares me down creeping closer and closer to the open door.
I usually take the food scraps down to our brood at 10am. It’s is now 10:10 and the ladies are obviously starved and about to die, because right behind Gertrude are our 3 other chickens ruffling their feathers at me, letting me know that I am late and they are not impressed.
I get the bucket of food scraps and think longingly of my coffee as I head towards their enclosure (the one they supposedly can’t get out of) shaking the container as I go.
If chickens had ears, they would have pricked up as much as a German shepherd that just heard a slobbery tennis ball bounce off the sidewalk.
I hate food wastage, so love feeding all of our daily food scraps to our feathery brood, and they obviously love eating it – even the left over chicken carcass from last nights soup.
I lead my brood back to their enclosure like I am some sort of magical pied piper of chickens – they would follow me right into the slaughterhouse if I shook their feed bucket along the way.
Once I throw all of the scraps down I watch in amusement as Gertrude races to the chicken carcass, picks it up in her beak and scurries away with it, as if she was Gollum and she had just got her claws on the golden ring (and is not unwittingly becoming a cannibal for her owners simple amusement).
I head over to their nesting box and open the lid.
As usual, there are only 3 eggs in there. Someone is not pulling their weight, and I have my suspicions which lady it is..
I take the eggs, ensure that I close the gate on their enclosure, then put their delicious fresh eggs into the kitchen, before heading back to my now extremely cold coffee.
I contemplate microwaving it, but before I make up my mind I hear a squark and a squeal.
Houdini has nothing on our lovely lady “Cluck Norris”. She has once again managed to get out of her enclosure, and into the neighbours yard.
I hear the 3 year old next door giggling and chatting to our little Clucky as she chases her around their yard.
I put my coffee down once again, and head over to the neighbours house with the fresh eggs as an apology/peace offering.
Holding Cluck Norris/Houdini I inspect her wings. Yep, still clipped.
I do not know how she manages to get out of her enclosure and into the neighbours yard on a weekly basis, yet here we are again.
On my way back to the chicken enclosure (again) I spot something out of the corner of my eye.
I put Clucky down and reach into our large, ornamental pot plant. Brushing the fan shaped leaves aside, I discover a gigantic pile of eggs.
Unbenknownst to us, “Cluck Norris” has obviously been escaping her enclosure on a daily basis, foregoing her wonderfully maintained, superbly cosy nesting box to lay all of her eggs in one of our pot plants.
I fill a basket with my new egg cache, and head back to my coffee, before remembering that I did not put Clucky back into her enclosure.
I grab the now empty food scrap box and walk towards our chicken jail. “Cluck Norris” spots the box and races into her enclosure as I open the gate for her.
I triumphantly show Clucky that the scrap box was empty, and actually feel pretty darn smug that I managed to outsmart a chicken!
I grab my ice cold coffee once again.
I take a sip, then tip the rest over the balcony.
I’m going to make an omelette instead.
Owning backyard chickens – almost as time consuming as having a toddler.
But at least you get fresh eggs.
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