Yellow Chicken House

Chicken Keeping – The good, the bad and the egg-ly!

Bedtime Comedy

on July 22, 2013

I am writing this in the midst of the longest heatwave I can remember. The sun and heat are inescapable. A quick glance at my facebook newsfeed right now and friends’ statuses such as ‘my eyelids are melting’ and ‘I feel like a tap that won’t turn off’ are scrolling down the screen. That last one’s a bit ambiguous… Not that I’m complaining though as I’ve been taking the opportunity to spend as much time as possible out in the sunshine watching and getting acquainted with the girls. Tonight was no exception and I set up a chair on the lawn to watch them scratching around.

As it began to get darker, the leader of the pack, Cookie, purposefully waddled in the direction of the yellow chicken house. Once inside, she popped her head out and let out a little squeak. The other two chickens responded by trotting in the direction of the house. And this is where the comedy began…

Buffy Lucille made her way to the side of the Eglu and walked directly into the side of the bars of the run. She shook herself off and appeared visibly confused, staring through the bars at Cookie and wondering why she hadn’t made it through. Rather than walking around perimeter of the run to locate the entrance, she made a second attempt at walking through the mesh wall of the run while Shelley Shufflebottom watched intently from a safe distance. Upon failing a second time, Buffy Lucille appeared to become visibly upset and walked away from the Eglu, craning her neck in every direction and hooting and honking in frustration.

After pacing around for several minutes, she made her way back to the Eglu for round two. Shelley followed her hopefully, scratching around halfheartedly but clearly not willing to take the initiative to solve the dilemma. Buffy Lucille repeated her earlier mistake and attempted to walk into the same dead end as before. This time she ran over to me, a sense of desperation in her gait, coming right up to my feet, staring me straight in the eye, and letting out a worried squeal. “It’s okay Buff,” I reassured, “you’ll get there in the end, give it one last try…”

Buffy Lucille, clearly frustrated by my inability to take the disaster seriously, waddled back to the chicken house. This time, Shelley Shufflebottom cautiously made her may around the back of the Eglu, clucking softly to herself as she went. The Buffster noticed this bold maneuver and finally began to circle the perimeter of the run. I was really rooting for her to solve the problem without my intervention. Finally, I thought, she’s got it, she’s really got it…

She hadn’t got it. She marched straight past the entrance to the run. *sigh*

Thankfully, Shelley had been formulating a plan of action and carefully made her way around the perimeter of the run in the opposite direction to Buffy, successfully locating the entrance. I resisted the urge to cheer – I realised that my neighbours may already find the sight of me crouching in the lawn whispering encouragement to chickens a little odd.

Buffy watched in total disbelief as Shelley disappeared into the hen house, whining in frustration. Like a stroppy teenager, she stomped around and re-traced her steps. When she finally found the entrance, the joy and relief was clear to see as she lunged forward into the house.

I’m glad I resisted the urge to step in and place her in the house because the comedy value of Buffy’s clumsiness was worth the wait.

Another successful day in the yellow chicken house.

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