Chapter 4 of NKOTBSB will be coming soon. I realized I took close to 400 pictures and they're taking some time to sort through.
The chickens are starting to learn that they can fly. The coop is set about 2 feet off the ground. The door is probably another foot up so they like to launch themselves out the door and half fly, half run towards the deck. It's quite fun to watch actually. The other day Kandis was over to meet them and asked if they ever go onto the deck. As I'm telling her no, not really past the top steps, but that I'd think it was funny if they hang out at the back door and tease the dogs, there goes Maudene and Agnes having a competition on who can be the highest. Next thing we know Agnes is hitting the rail which is basically a 1x4 and she's sliding down wings and feathers everywhere. As we're laughing it off, not believing that what happened just happened when there goes Maudene sliding down the rail like a pro. We couldn't believe it. My chickens are becoming quite the dare devils.
My only real problem with them going onto the deck is that the railing is taller than the fence and only a few feet from the fence so they can easily jump over it. Plus with their flying obsession I've been a bit worried.
Usually when we get home we let the dogs out for a bit and then the chickens get to free range until around 8 when they put themselves to bed. So tonight I'm sitting on the couch and I can hear one of the chickens. I can't usually hear them at all so I knew something was up. I headed outside and saw this:
They had gotten locked out of the coop (I usually open all 3 doors, but John had only opened one and it had been blown closed) and decided to roost on the roof. I looked inside to see if Maudene had made it in and she hadn't. She wasn't on the ground near the coop, she wasn't by the garden, she wasn't under the deck. All I could think was how am I going to explain myself while I asked my neighbors, "Have you seen my chicken?"
There were kids in the park across the street and they weren't making any, "Hey look! We found a chicken!" type sounds so I decided to check the ditch behind the house first. I came around the corner and there she was, slightly tangled in a vine and quite distraught that she was on the other side of the fence from the other girls. I'm guessing she wasn't there very long and that's probably what the loud squawking was about - Maudene had flown the coop.
I carried her back around the house and tucked her inside the coop. The other two were huddled down by the food in the run by now. I'm not sure what was wrong with them, but I scooped them up and put the inside the coop and locked up the doors for the night. Hopefully they won't think of jumping fences again anytime soon, but I think it may also be time to clip their wings. There's too many ways for them to get over the fence and there are too many wild animals and strays that hang around in the ditch behind the house. I wonder if clipping flight feathers is any easier than clipping the dogs' nails?