Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Snowball The Teenage Rooster Plays Hide-n-Seek!

Just when I think my chickens couldn't do another thing to surprise me... they do!  I never realized what superb gaming skills they have.  We learned about chicken rugby pretty quickly when we threw a worm into the brooder while the peepers still peeped and we still love to watch them play it as teens. (You know where one gets a treat and tries to keep it but the rest of the flock chases and tries to take it for themselves?)  I never would have took my chickens for hide-n-seek players though, but they are quite astute at it.

I went out to check on location and food/water levels of my flock and counted 5 teens in the enclosure and two running around the fence outside.  For the life of me, though, I couldn't find Snowball (the rooster) and four other hens.  They weren't in any of the usual places they go when they escape their enclosure. (Which they do often.) They weren't in the garden, the compost, in any flower beds, or under the trees.  How could I up and lose 5 chickens?

I walked the entire front of my yard (probably two acres) looking.  Did someone steal them?  Did they organize themselves and walk out the front entrance way and down the road?  I had just seen Snowball a few minutes ago.

Finally I heard something near one of the trees they like to hang out under.  I walked over but still didn't see any chickens.  Then I heard a cluck.  I looked up into the tree and there they were.  Snowball and four hens roosting quite comfortably in the lower branches of the maple.

I had read that free-range chickens will do this but I never expected it!  I still don't consider our teen chickens free -range but with the ease and number of times daily that they escape their enclosure I guess they consider themselves free.

We had a heck of a time getting them down.  They would just hop around to the next branch.  Finally Reagan was able to get them all down.  I suppose they will try out all our trees now.  At least I know where to look if they go missing again.

I wonder what they'll do next! I hope when they start laying they will choose the nest boxes and not just lay them in odd places.

What strange places have you found your chickens?

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