Monday, May 21, 2018

Saturday night chook abduction

The fancy new chook mansion that has housed 14 birds for the past seven months or so needs a big clean out. After the recent heavy rains in southern Tasmania, the yard is a smelly mud bog, and despite removing the bedding and nest box material upstairs regularly, it is disgusting again. So on Saturday night after dinner, David and I ventured out into the dark and windy night to snatch the hens and roosters from their perch and relocate them to the refurbished old picker's hut for the winter. One of us held the door or nest box lid open, while the other grabbed the nearest bird and (despite protestations) tucked it neatly under one arm for the march across the front paddock to their new home. Return and repeat seven times. It was a far more efficient operation than our early efforts at chook catching. All birds neatly deposited on their perches, we retreated back indoors to the fire and a glass of red. It's probably not how we would have imagined spending a Saturday night ten years ago!

As the chooks woke up in their lovely clean winter house the next morning, were they thinking 'how did I get here? Was I abducted in my sleep?' More likely, knowing their generally limited brain capacity, they just got back to the business of pecking, crowing, clucking and flapping. I feel happier knowing they will be warm and better protected from the cold wind and snow when it comes this year. After a week or two of getting used to their new location, they will be able to go out free ranging again and hopefully return to the correct home in the evening.

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