I know you've all seen many a post about our "girls" (hens). They've reached their second birthdays this year. Kim and I have been very lucky (or the girls have been lucky I guess), no illness, injury or deaths with our girls during these two years.
Yesterday I thought our luck had run out. We've banned them from the back yard this year in order to allow the garden to recuperate. They've been confined to the area behind the garage where their coop sits, with access to the three compost bins and plenty of area in which to run around.
Seems as if Ginger wasn't satisfied with that arrangement. I went outside to give them some greens yesterday and as I was counting heads I could only count to two. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I quickly made a search and couldn't see Ginger anywhere. Kim began searching the yard as I began searching the neighborhood, wondering if she had finally "flown the coop" for the first time. I was envisioning her encountering a neighbor's dog and the end result of that wouldn't be pretty.
Well, looky here. A normal strawberry patch, correct?
But, look closer.
This was where we found her yesterday the second time she went missing. So we gave up and left her alone. We figured at least she was still in the yard.
When I came back later Ginger was back in the coop (we leave the door open all day so they have access to water and food and the nesting boxes) and she had left this in the strawberry patch.
All the information we read concerning raising chickens said that with just three hens, two nesting boxes are plenty. Yesterday Jelly Bean was using the right hand box. Seems as if the left hand box just won't cut it for Ginger so she flew over our little four foot fence into the veg garden and made her own nest.
So we gave up and since we were both gardening outside yesterday we let them all have a day in the garden.
Here's Tootsie ravishing a Tartarian aster.
A nice view of Ginger's butt as she looks to see what's under the Crambe cordifolia.
Jelly Bean poses on a lawn chair.
And Tootsie gets friendly with Kim.
All three of them looking innocent.
We plan on bringing them into the garden at least once a week from now on. As long as we're with them we can minimize the digging, scratching and constant munching of plants. I did realize yesterday how much I have missed seeing them in the garden. And they are such a natural pest repellent, we really need to let them do their job.