Confined to Quarters

May 12, 2016 | 3 comments

Confined to Quarters

Confined to Quarters

The girls have been given a ‘time out’ – probably for the rest of the summer.  I’m sure I feel worse about it than they do.  But, isn’t that always the way it is?  Even, as in this case, with chickens?

I tell myself that it’s for their own good.  And, partly, that’s true.  We have not been able to solve their proclivity for escape and, short of installing chicken wire fencing along and below two thousand feet (plus) of pickets, the only way to let them into our yard for their free-ranging is to hope that they are able to avoid cars, dogs and other threats that lurk beyond their approved territory.  But, keeping them safe isn’t the only reason they’ve been confined to quarters (i.e. their run.)

No.  It’s for a much less altruistic reason.  Those naughty and recalcitrant girls are hell-bent on ruining my flower beds!  For days and days (well, at least ten) I’ve been weeding and mulching the beds in the south garden.  I’ve dug and tugged and barrowed and pitched.  I’ve lovingly hauled and dumped and raked and patted the contents of eight 25-pound bags of mulch.  And it was all worth my aching muscles.  My garden beds looked better than they had for years.

Mulch Mess

Mulch Mess

I wasn’t quite finished with this smallish section when I came home from a walk to find that most of my carefully placed mulch had been scratched asunder by my four fat hens.  Apparently, they were intent upon getting it out of the way so that they could have a good-and-proper dust bath in the nice warm dirt.  Four holes had been begun and the mulch (hemlock landscape bark) had been systematically transferred from beds to lawn.

Sweeping the LawnI know it is not seemly for an elderly woman to stand in her front yard and yell at chickens but yell I did.  “What are you doing?!!” screeched I.  Those girls paused, briefly, to see if I was offering them some scratch and then went back to fine-tuning their ‘bathtubs.’  “You have a whole yard full of beds that haven’t yet been mulched!!  What is the matter with you?” Probably Nansen’s chickens in Seaview could hear me…

Once I had lured the little darlings down to their run and locked them in, I got the broom and swept the lawn.  If my demented yelling at chickens hadn’t been convincing enough, I’m sure that my sweeping activities were the final touch.  I don’t think there were neighbors around, but there were the usual number of spring tourists.  They gave me wide berth.

Still… I do feel badly about the lock up and I miss my friendly, feathered friends as I continue my weed attacks.  It’s going to be a long summer without them nearby…

I wonder if you can tether chickens?


  1. Kristina Jones

    Remember our favorite Espy/Williams memory game? “One big fat hen….” LOL!!!

  2. Sandy Stonebreaker

    I do chuckle over the exploits of your “girls”. And, I almost laughed outloud this morning at the thought of you vigorously scolding them and then giving them permanent “time out”.
    Having grown up with chickens all sound pretty familiar. We raised them for food as well as eggs. Whatever kind we often had would fly over the fence; then, we would have to clip their wings. For a few days they would “flounce” around and complain loudly. It didn’t seem to take long for them to grow out though. Then, there were the skunks who loved to get into the hen house for the eggs. And the various tales go on just like yours.

  3. Cate Gable

    You all keep the chickens. I’ll buy the eggs (when possible.)


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