Milestones in the City

Where does a mother hen begin? Back from vacation and all went well, thanks to a cherished handful of kind, generous neighbor-folk! (Not the criminal next door, of course.) Precious egg-producing beasts were no worse for the wear during my 5-day getaway. As far as general feeding goes, chickens are easier wards than kitties! And of course, they pay you back. It’s the keep-’em-quiet thing that makes the vaca-brain work overtime. And with well-timed visits, pre-packed baggies of treats, and a full page of [typed] instructions, all was well. Thanks again, Eric and Sheila and Pat!

Seems a little time off did a mother hen good–for obvious reasons–but it also relaxed my worry/paranoia factor regarding chicken turnout. This week’s milestone: freedom! The girls have enjoyed time outside their run for two days in a row. Supervised, of course, and–since I haven’t yet conceptualized a proper gate-fencing system–in an area securely barricaded by overturned lawn chairs, pool rafts, and various loosely formed building materials that would make even the most conservative redneck yard equipment hoarder proud.

The girls are out! First thing they did: dig up the dirt and mangle what remained of my new grass (already scorched by the sun–no hope for new grass seedlings in a Florida summer) before discovering a BUG and giving frantic circular chase among themselves in the walkway. Quite amusing for even a semi-seasoned chicken owner. Second thing they did: shit everywhere. That’s no surprise. Third thing: stop, drop and roll. Sand baths for everyone! Well, dirt baths. But you get the point.

It really is something to see them out in the open–not quite yet in the backyard, but out of their run, anyway.

And now that I have had my delightful swim in the pool followed by the evening enjoyment of warching my semi-free range city hens further explore their little city, my day is complete. Now it’s time to roust ’em up and send them back to their safe home. And sweep up poop.

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