Our Rhode Island Red chickens – Rogues, as we call them – are pretty adventurous foragers but I never expected to find one alone in the house garden. I am known to charge, rake in hand, at the sight of chickens in the vegie patch. Scratching up seedlings, eating lettuce and having a good ol’ time… It’s one of the things that sees me live up to the “fiery redhead” cliche, with gusto.
They tend to keep well away from the gardens after many a run-in with the rake – I only biff them gently, but they resent even the softest punt! Bloody chickens, easily offended even when they are in the wrong!
But this time, there was just the one girl, free ranging solo. I was so surprised I just stood and watched to see what she would do.
She jumped right off the three metre high retaining wall and landed rather gracefully, for a chicken (THUNK!), in the house paddock. Our chickens’ wings aren’t clipped and it’s impressive to see how far the fat biddies can fly!
We used to call her the scraggledy hen because she was bottom of the peck order and definitely looked it. Not anymore! The little Rogue seems to be enjoying a new chickeny confidence. I saw her browsing in the house paddock alone last week, far away from the rest of the flock and not in the least bit worried. She enjoys bossing around our home-hatched chicks – they’re around three months old now – and we have a new contender for the scraggledy title…
Our blue Australorp is moulting, and looks like only half a chicken. Despite being healthy, she has looked generally unkempt for months, kind of feral, like the chicken version of a crazy cat lady. Maybe her new feathers will give her a boost when they come through? The poor girl does look silly, bustling around with no bum.