After two weekends of some hard work, we completed construction today of a larger enclosure for our chickens. We’re both really tired but happy.
The Girls have been patient in their coop for the last week, making do with limited space and so you can imagine both our, and their excitement today when finally we opened the coop and let them out to stretch their wings and get up to all sorts of chickeny activities. This is the space they’ll have for wandering around when we’re home and can supervise.
For me there were two highlights.
First, the chance to go in there with them and just hang out. It was one of the moments i’ve been waiting for (the other is obviously the first egg – but that’s some weeks off yet). I can’t tell you how much I was enjoying myself in this moment. To have them milling around me (later they fed from hand) was just lovely. I think it’s going to be so good for me to have their comforting and friendly clucking and to be able to get so close with them. I confess I’m falling for them in a big way.
To my Girls, I’m now The Lady with the Food. I’m sure of it. They’ll be sitting quietly and then, upon hearing or seeing me approach, there’s much flapping and excited clucking. I like to think we have an understanding. They entertain us and (eventually) provide us with eggs. I, in turn, bring them food and keep them safe from neighbourhood cats. It’s simple really.
Two other thrills are hearing Alice say ‘Cockadoodledoo!’ when she sees them and, as of today, watching them do something I’d only before reading about. Dust bathing. This is how they clean themselves, apparently. Finding a patch of dirt and dousing themselves in it with astounding enthusiasm. We found them engrossing and they had us in fits of laughter. Who knew birds flapping their wings in a pile of dirt could be so entertaining! If you look up near the green bucket, you can see some dirt flying.
So far, having chickens has turned out to be a lot less scary than I thought. I did a lot of reading beforehand and the literature advises of all the things that can go wrong. I suppose those warnings built up in my mind and I worried a little about the unknown, but in reality of course, all the possibly bad things can’t and won’t happen all at once so I’ve relaxed now and am just enjoying getting to know them. It’s our new TV! Pull up a chair, grab a drink and just watch. It’s not going to wear thin for quite a long time.