Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hen Picked

Marigold behind the morning glories

Marigold has decided where she wants to lay her eggs. She’s new to this whole egg laying business, but she will not be convinced to use the nesting box. She has picked her own best spot.

We have the yard divided into three sections: The garden/coop section, the patio section, and the side/front yard. Marigold prefers a hollowed out spot behind the morning glories, next to the bay window. That means that she has to hop to the top of the gate between the coop and patio, then work her way across the patio, and hop another gate that leads into the space between the patio and side yard.

Several times yesterday I went out and picked her up, carried her to the coop/garden area, and thought the matter solved. Every time I went outside, she was gone again. After several tries at relocating her, I went back inside, to hear her bock, bock, bock, bi-gocking noisily next to the bay window, announcing the imminent appearance of an egg. Only after her egg had been deposited behind the morning glories would she consent to staying in the coop area.

It bothers me to not have all the hens together—I worry when one of them becomes separated and I feel the need to gather them all together. This morning, I went outside and counted only six hens in the garden. Marigold had gone AWOL again.  Olive, my gray cat, was following me as I went through the gate to the side yard, where Marigold greeted me, chased Olive, then eyed me imperiously. If chickens had chins, she’d have been sticking hers out.

I went inside. But it really bothered me to have her separated from the flock. And I wanted to go get some work done, but would worry about her.

I went outside, picked her up from the path where she was snacking on clover, and carried her back to the garden area. She waited all of five minutes before I saw her hop to the top of the gate, trot across the patio, hop on top of the second gate and into the side yard.

“Bock, bock, bock, bi-gock!” she announced seconds later, then settled herself behind the morning glories smugly. 

I waited awhile, then checked in with her. She was out pecking at weeds, and there was a nice, latte-colored egg sitting exactly where she had placed it. I picked the egg up and slipped it into my pocket, then picked her up to carry her back to the coop area. On the way through the patio area, I noticed Paprika, roosting behind the ornamental grass. The small red hen looked at me, then adjusted the grassy nest she’d made for herself and pointedly ignored me.

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