Jul 3, 2013

Insert Chicken-Related Pun Here

Eggcelent news - the chicken coop at the bottom of our garden is no longer an empty nest. With the arrival of three fine specimens (a complicated story the details of which are quarantined until further notice) - one Leghorn, one Isa Brown, and one Australorp hybrid - it is my pleasure and duty to inform you that we are official fowled up, and the run is coming up to speed.

Nicole has a big grin on her face and is spending not-quite-literally not-quite-every (but nearly) moment producing foodstuffs for the poultry. Now, by an amazing coincidence, we are treated to porridge every morning, which is lovely for us as well as the chickens who get our leftovers! There is an array of sprouts sprouting like clockwork to be delivered to their hungry beaks. It won't be long until they are a fully integrated part of the composting cycle and enriching every aspect of our lives from the soil in our garden to the eggs in our fridge.

Eloise is similarly delighted, and has, since the birds have been permitted to "free-range" - which has now become a verb, apparently! - become adept at catching the chickens and returning them to their quarters. I hesitate to say prison, however since they are clearly confined there, as evidenced by the clipping of their wings, I can see no other adequately descriptive word, although of course I could in a mealy-mouthed way assert that it is "protective custody" on account of their need for protection from our other, potentially murderous, animal resident, whose needs and freedoms now need to be delicately balanced against those of our newest arrivals. Anyway, to return briefly to the point, Eloise is not too bad, and much better than either of us, at grabbing the damned birds and putting them where they ought to be.

Matilda is disadvantaged and a little put out, as she must remain upstairs whilst the "chooks" (as they are quaintly refered to here in Australia) free-range (which has now become a verb, apparently!). Additionally, she has now for a significant proportion of her dietary spectrum, been demoted on the leftover ladder - which would, if only she had the intellect and awareness to have noticed, be a far graver issue for her I suspect.

Still, Clara, our two-year old adoptee, is still laying eggs, and lording (or ladying, if you prefer) it over Amy and Isabelle, our two-chick team of point-of-lay purebreds who are settling in and preparing themselves, no doubt, to keep us in eggs for the rest of their little lives.

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