The weather has gotten so hot that we try to only work or move the animals early in the morning or late in the evening to keep their stress levels down. So we were out there early in the morning this weekend, worming and trimming hooves on the sheep.
But as I was walking out the door to set up, the kids started hollering that a chicken was out.
It turns out that the field chickens were out.
All 28 of them.
They were having a blast out there, catching bugs and eating grass and just running around investigating and scratching and clucking softly to themselves. And they immediately ran to anyone they saw–especially anyone carrying a bucket! Little groups of them would follow me around as I went from garage, to field, to garage, to house, gathering supplies and hustling the kids into their work clothes.
We didn’t want to waste the cool morning since we had to work sheep, and our little flock was staying nearby, so we left them out to forage until we were done with the sheep. It was good for some laughs. They wandered around pecking curiously at boots and pants, and one even pecked the Cowboy’s hand while he was working a gate. Since there were no roosters to worry about, it was kinda cute.
We had one little New Hampshire Red that kept wandering fearlessly into the sheep pens and we had to keep saving her from being trampled. Our little cow was curious too and would sniff the hen and touch noses (beaks?) with her. But the sheep didn’t find anything amusing about the whole process.
The Ladybug and I rounded them all up with a bucket of feed after we finished up the sheep. Then I patched what I thought was their escape hatch with some zip-ties. I must have missed a spot though, because they were all out again this morning when Mr. Fix-It went to leave for work. So I guess we’ll be rounding them up again when I get home this evening.