For those of you lamenting the loss of freedom for Amelia the adventuring chicken, good news. While clipping her wings (actually only the feathers on one wing) has limited her flying ability somewhat, she still manages to get where she is not supposed to go – frequently. First it was on the other side of the little chicken fence which is only about 3 feet tall. In the middle of this small yard is a rock box.
Some day, when all our other projects are complete and we have lots of spare time on our hands, I am planning to put a few of our many river rocks on the face of the posts holding up the porch. So I have started collecting the flat rocks I find and saving them in the rock box. Amelia found the rock box in the fenced off section of the chicken yard. She liked it so much she decided to stay and lay her eggs there.
Unfortunately rocks are not a very soft bedding material and the egg did not fare too well.
We didn’t notice that evening when closing up the coop that Amelia was AWOL so she spent the night in the rock box. It didn’t seem to bother her too much. A day or two after her rock box adventure, she got into the strawberry and asparagus beds – again.
I have truly been enjoying my first crop of home-grown asparagus. I planted the root crowns last year and resisted the temptation to cut the new shoots all summer so they would grow healthy, strong roots. I carefully covered them in the fall with a chicken compost mixture and waited patiently through the winter until the new shoots emerged in the spring. At last they are finally big enough to harvest and they taste wonderful. I also planted some new crowns this year, so next year I will have an even bigger crop of asparagus. Then Amelia flew into the area.
Amelia, in her never-ending quest for worms and bugs, dug up my new asparagus crowns. The ones that were just starting to take root and send up new shoots. Luckily Amelia does not care for the taste of asparagus, she just digs them up. I carefully re-planted my asparagus crowns and hope that they will not suffer too much from having been planted and dug up, planted and dug up and planted again. Amelia also ventured into the strawberry bed.
Apparently Amelia does like the taste of strawberries; especially the very first one just turning ripe. This reminds me of a book I used to read my kids years ago when they were little ‘ The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear” only we will have to change it to “The Red Ripe Strawberry and Amelia the Wandering Chicken.” Either way however, the ripe strawberry is gone. The very fist one of the season! To keep Amelia contained it seems more drastic measures are called for.
We put Amelia (and a friend) in the dog run! The way-too- tall grass in there really needs to be mowed (or eaten) down and Amelia needs fresh grass and a very tall fence to keep her in so it seems like a great solution.
Amelia seemed to enjoy her new surroundings. The other chickens we put in with her clucked and fussed and squawked their protests all day, but not Amelia.
She made herself right at home and laid her egg in the wood shavings inside of the dog house. Now, if we could just figure out an easy way to get her inside the dog run every day everyone would be happy. We really do have other things to do than chase Amelia out of the garden and back into the orchard with the other chickens. It is a good thing for her that she continues to lay her daily egg or she might end up like Bernardette Bernard. In the frying pan. I haven’t given up that option.