We and Our Chickens

Knowing that we would have to spend more time here in “aislamiento social” than expected,
– I suggested we get ourselves some chickens.
– Norbert did not mind.
– A neighbour built a little chicken house.
– Norbert constructed a corral.
– Some other neighbours had a couple of hens for us.
– Now we can happily enjoy our daily breakfast eggs laid by happy chickens.

IT WAS NOT QUITE THAT EASY

Yes, Mauri, our next door neighbour, has built the henhouse.
Norbert and he brought it into our backyard.

We found a nice place right underneath our kitchen window.

Next day we went to get the chickens.

A black-and-white one which we called “Pick-Pick”
And a little brown one. We gave her the name “Gacky”.

We decided to keep them inside the henhouse for the first day, so that they would get used to it.

Next day we opened the hatch, so that they could explore our garden.

And they sure did!
But our garden did not seem to be enough. First thing Gacky (the brown one) did, was to find a gap in the fence to the neighbouring garden.
Luckily that house is still under construction and it was easy to enter the property to chase our chicken back.
We closed the hole and checked the fence all around to make sure there wasn’t another one for them to escape through.

The real problem began in the afternoon.
All day they had been back and forth to the henhouse to pick some of the food there or to take a drink. Now they seemed to be totally confused and lost. Pick-Pick was hiding under the bushes but moved on in a confused way when we got close. The other one was just nervously running around in circles saying “gack-gack-gack”.
They had previously been part of a large flock with a rooster. Maybe they were waiting for “orders” on what to do and where to go.
We felt totally helpless.
We never had chicken before and really did not know what to do. Leaving them outside for the night was no option either. There are opossums and foxes in the area for which our two girls would have been a tasty midnight snack.
Well, together Norbert and I were finally able to circle in on Pick-Pick and chase her back into the house. Gacky tried to hide herself in a little storage space next to our veranda. Norbert could grab her there and also safely put her back into the house.
¡¡¡UFF!!!


Next day we let them run free again. Getting them into their house in the evening was no problem at all.
I had found out during the day that they really love
tomatoes. About 6 o’clock in the evening I went into the garden with a handful of diced tomatoes. I called them. “Putt-Putt-Putt”! And with the help of those bright red treats (they seem to love red snacks and even go for the red nail polish on my toes) I “tricked” them into their house.
¡¡¡EASY!!!

Day number three
Another beautiful sunny day. The chickens enjoyed the garden.
Late afternoon I went down with my tomatoe dices to get them into their hut. They let me lead them towards their home, but not closer than about one meter!
After about an hour I gave up. Seemed the same situation like on the first day. They just did not want to go to their coop.
We then made the big mistake trying to chase them back into their hut like we had done the first night.
What a nightmare!
I do not remember how we got Pick-Pick home – but we did somehow.
Gacky got so scared that she flew into the bamboo hedge that seperates us from a neighbouring property – and there also is barbed wire in the middle of this hedge!
It was pitch dark by now. With flashlight, gloves, a big towel and a garden scissor we went to the other side of the fence to get her out of there. In panick she struggled herself back to our side of the fence and hid herself in some bushes.
We tried to catch her there with the help of a big bed sheet. She escaped and tried to hide herself in the gap between our staircase and the back of the henhouse. It is kind of hard to describe this and of course we did not take pictures.
The henhouse is triangular and open at the bottom. So Norbert had the idea to just tilt the whole thing and to push the girl in.
I was soooo scared! I was afraid the other one would escape or get hurt.
BUT: It worked!!!

TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE

I felt close to a heart attack. Never again! I had a sleepless night trying to think of a solution.

First thing next morning we went to get some chicken wire and Norbert constructed a corral.
It is about 1.8 m high but I was so afraid the chicken would jump over it, that I covered part of it with an old bedsheet – and I had another sleepless night.
So we bought the blue and white mesh that can be seen in the picture and covered the entire area.

Now I felt the chickens were safe and finally I could get a good night’s rest.

By the time I am writing this, the chickens have been living with us for 2 weeks.

Finally we have become friends!

Every other day they give us an egg. The eggs are a lot smaller that what you get in the grocery store – but they are DELICIOUS.
We reward them with their favorites: diced apples and tomatoes.
During the day they can run free and pick their own food anywhere in the garden.
By about 5:30 in the afternoon they voluntarily return to their corral, they get a last treat (“Betthupferl”) and I close the fence.
About half an hour later they disappear into their henhouse and I can close the hatch.
They wake us up at 8 o’clock every morning demanding that we open hatch and fence so they can enjoy their freedom.

WHAT A JOY TO HAVE THEM AROUND

2 Replies to “We and Our Chickens”

  1. Ein richtiges Paradies habt ihr euch geschaffen. Ökonome und Hausbesitzer . Toll !!! Ich schreib in deutsch , mein Englisch reicht nicht für so eine korrekte Korrespondenz. Grüße von Koch’s

    1. Ganz lieben Dank für Deinen Kommentar! Ich schreibe den Blog auf Englisch, damit ihn auch meine Enkel in den USA und andere nicht Deutsch sprechende Freunde verstehen können. Wenn Du “Google Chrome” als Browser nimmst, bietet er Dir automatisch eine Übersetzung ins Deutsche an. Die ist nicht immer perfekt, aber durchweg verständlich.

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