In Which The Chickens Get Set Free

We set the chickens free. I opened the gate, herded them out of the pen and they are slowly getting used to wandering around the garden. Why? Because they are our little workers, specifically, our weeders right now.

Be free!

There are too many weeds around the garden for me to keep on top of, especially after a week of rain, and I’ve always intended to let the chickens really free-range sometimes to help. The time was now, because the Veggie Garden and neighbours’ paddocks are fully fenced and I particularly want the chickens to help clear the Front Plot for Autumn planting. I picked the last four green Chuck’s Winter squashes from out the front, the plants of which have shown great longevity, bunged some temporary plastic netting and planks onto the front fence to prevent escapes and pulled out the nightshade weeds. The chickens are mostly working on areas closer to the back at the moment, but they’re getting more confident every day. The little chickens stick around the carport a lot, close to the pen.

I’ve put a water container by the Front Plot to help encourage the chickens to work in there.
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The view out the window has improved to an amusingly high standard.

Frodo is broody again. We’ve had three tiny fart eggs in the coop, then nothing, so now I’m suspecting they may have been laid by Tiggywinkle, who is moulting like a maniac, rather than one of the point-of-lay girls. Poor Tiggywinkle currently has no tail. The young roosters are still getting dominated by the hens, which is quite amusing. James Shaw has started to show some leadership skills though, in breaking up the little chickens’ fights and tidbitting the younger hens.

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Winston Cheepers and Helen Cluck had a standoff one morning. Winston thought he could take her, but Helen Cluck shut him down and he went back to his corner. Helen Cluck has gotten very big.

While The Little Fulla and I were out on the roadfront attaching the temporary fencing onto the front fence, a pink pig suddenly appeared, trotting towards us. The Little Fulla quickly slipped inside the gate, shut it and latched it. He has some great, quick logical instincts. We just need to work on the looking-out-for-other-people instincts! Never mind, I wasn’t afraid of the pig. It was big but not massive like the last pig escapees that we had around here. You can read about previous pig visitations here: one and two. Visitation number three was the massive pig that got into our garden, then, when ousted, went off to join its equally massive buddy to dig in the neighbours garden when their house was for sale. I’m not sure if I wrote about it or not because I can’t seem to find a post about it.

Anyway, back to pig visitation number four. One of the neighbours also saw it and biked over to the pig owner’s place to inform him of the pink escapee. The pig was enjoying her freedom and did not want to cooperate. I helped the other two to herd it back down the road. The Little Fulla was eager to help and brought his dump truck out, although I’m not sure what he thought the dump truck would do. This was quite an exciting event for the day, not just because there was an escaped pig but because I got to see two people.

Since I liberally sowed the seeds of victory in the Veggie Garden, heaps of lettuces and carrots have popped up, along with some radishes. I’ve only planted out a few of the lettuces I grew in trays. Basically, we’re a lettuce farm now.

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