As I mentioned before I’ve got a subset of my flock who are convinced that going native is the way to be. There are eleven of them, to be exact – who want nothing to do with the ways of the civilized chicken.
They have a lovely coop that my amazing husband has slaved to complete. Yet they sleep in the willow.
The girls who sleep up in the willow end up flying down the next morning – outside the chicken yard – and getting them back in to try and keep them confined at all is well – nigh on to impossible!
They also disdain the lovely nest boxes…
…and choose instead to find obscure locations to lay their eggs…
The first time – we found 36 eggs.
The next time – 19.
Yesterday – I found 8 out in the yard.
I have to admit – it doesn’t thrill me to go out in the pouring rain and have to hunt down eggs in the 1/2 acre of a yard. Of course, the girls are looking for a mostly dry protected place to lay – which means I have to carry a flashlight and sometimes the pruners – to reach into the underbrush and clear the way.
They’re driving me nuts.
So – we decided we should just coop them up in the run for a week – so they’ll figure out where they’re supposed to sleep and lay.
We tried putting out treats INSIDE the coop before bedtime to lure them in. We were all poised to shut them in as soon as we could get an at least a fraction of the Renegades in there. Yeah – well, didn’t work.
So, we decided, maybe we need to get some bird netting up so that they can’t fly up into the tree. That’s still an option – but with the weather we’ve been having (inches upon inches of rain, not to mention wind) – we haven’t been able to go there.
I’m seriously considering clipping their wings so they can’t fly. The only challenge will be catching them! The Renegades are not warm and fuzzy, as a general rule. They have not been handled much since they were babies. They love us – and come running when we come out into the yard – they know a good thing when they see it! (We usually come bearing treats!) But catching them will require Jessica, the girl with the chicken wrangling skills. Seriously – she’s got a gift. She’s so busy with school and extracurricular activities, though – finding a time when she’s available could be a bit of a challenge.
With the winter fast approaching and potentially chicken-threatening weather a possibility – I’ve got to come up with some sort of a plan. For me – as much as for them – I just don’t want to be tramping around in the snow hunting eggs!
If you’ve got insider tips – share away, friends!