Disaster, Roy, the sheepdog sat with his ears back looking ever so slightly guilty, Mist, his partner in crime, sheepishly hidden away in the hedge, well out of sight. White feathers scattered everywhere and the remains of one white chicken discarded close by. Carnage broke out while we obliviously went for an afternoon stroll in the woods. On our return we are greeted with a scene of total devastation and two very guilty looking offenders sitting as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.
I run to the hen enclosure to find more feathers and no white hens, only the Blackrock and Isa Browns remain, and even they have to be gently coaxed out of hiding.
The hens have been venturing into the garden over the past few weeks, much to the happy farmer’s frustrated delight. The dogs have been stalking them around the hedges and borders, but up until now the hens have been holding their own, seemingly unfazed by all the attention, even making their way through the French doors and into the farmhouse kitchen on occasions.
Today the garden tells a different story. Dogs chastised and put away for the evening we need to move the remaining hens to the other enclosure, away over the road, where they will no longer venture into our garden under the watchful eyes of the dogs.
The children get a bucket of hen food and the happy farmer gets the cage to load the hens into. A solemn white hen appears from the garden hedgerow, feathers cruelly plucked from her behind, and then the cries of an excited child as a second is discovered on poppy hill. We gently coax them all into the cage and carry them across the field to their new enclosure, Hetty our older Blackrock greets them, but luckily is accepting of them and they appear to settle well into their new enclosure.
Our guests later relay to the happy farmer how they had been disturbed by a knocking on the back door of their cottage, they looked out to see a white hen tapping the door agitatedly with her beak, they opened the door and she strutted right in, made a beeline through the cottage and demanded out at the front door, they were highly entertained, especially as Charlie has been paying them daily visits. The white hen on the other hand saw it as an opportunity of survival and in a smart move escaped the sheepdogs cull!!
Charlie hen meanwhile cannot see what all the fuss was about and boldly struts her stuff around the farmyard and garden completely unfazed by those naughty dogs.
Until next time…..