It took an enormous amount of persuading, (with Madeline) but last night, we were finally able to crack open the gate and let the lady hens explore the yard.
Madeline was very uneasy about letting them outside the safety of their run, but I assured her all would be okay (as much as one can guarantee about these things, of course)
I explained that it was a beautiful evening, there was so much wonderful foraging that awaited them and that a bit of ‘supervised’ freedom would be good, good, good.
I tried to compare it to me keeping her in her room all the time and never letting her go anywhere, but she argued that there weren’t people trying to eat her everywhere….
She went on to explain to me that there are hawks flying ‘everywhere’, one of the cats looked like it was hungry, and the dog would surely run after them.
Oh, and what if they wander too far into the woods and it gets dark, and we can’t find them?
So, we put Lulu the hungry cat in my studio,
Junie B. was on the leash,
and Madeline stayed guard.
It was quite an ordeal to get the whole thing orchestrated actually, but it was fun to watch the little ladies frollick freely — even if only for a couple of hours. Once darkness fell, the lights went on and Madeline was busy counting and making sure everyone was safely back in their run.
Berkley however wasn’t wasting any of her time worrying about the chickens…there was dirt to be dug. No toy compares. Ever.
How do you guys handle free ranging your chickens? I would love to be able to just let them roam freely all day, but also understand the wrath of nature. Madeline is quite attached to each and every one of them and the whole experience “stressed her out”, she said. Oh boy. We certainly can’t all sit around the yard all day, keeping guard!
Cheers to freedom!