My kind neighbors came to my house yesterday at dusk and helped me clip the chicken's wings, and I paid them for their troubles with a head of broccoli fresh from my garden. Although they were supposed to be docile at dusk, we still had to chase some of them, but we accomplished the task without bloodshed or trauma to the chickens. After straightening out their rumpled feathers, they climbed to their perches and settled in for the night. I thought my chicken-chasing days were behind me. I have chased many cows in my life, but no chickens until the past month or so. Chasing cows is much easier than chasing chickens, although at least when I chase chickens I don't have to worry about them turning around and trampling me.
|Chickens do not belong on the patio: the patio became a favorite playing spot for the chickens,|
and that's why we got the electrified netting.
This morning, I released them from their house, and watched them peck contentedly at the new grass in the yard for a few minutes. I filled their water, and turned to go into the house, relieved that I would not have to worry about them. As I walked away, two chickens flew over the fence as easily as they did yesterday, and two more followed them. All of them followed me towards the house as if they thought I wanted some chicken company for breakfast. At least the other five are apparently unable to fly well enough to scale the fence. Those escaped four have been destroying my flowerbeds all day, and they didn't even have the courtesy to kill the first Japanese beetle of the season I presented them, but instead allowed it to fly away after pecking at it a few times.
At first, I did not give them water in hopes they would return home, but because the temperature is at least 95 degrees outside, I eventually took them some water. I didn't take them any food though. Lack of food for a day won't kill them, and I hope hunger will bring them back to their house. Of course, they might find too much tasty food in my flowerbeds to worry about their feed. Tonight at dusk, my husband and I will catch them again, and give them a super-short wing trim.