The charm of chickens

  Audrey (above) and Margot spent most of the Easter weekend edging their way into our house. First, they loitered with the dogs on the porch, drinking from the canine water bowl and even attempting to nibble on some kibble at breakfast or teatime (controversial, to say the least) – their confidence knows no bounds. Then, they eased their way into the utility room and, on Sunday morning, were practically knocking at the kitchen door. Who knows where they’d end up if we welcomed them in… But we can hardly resist their sweet trusting natures. Our two Labradors and German Shepherd bound around them and it always amazes me that they’re not in the least perturbed by these goings-on – they just stand by or patiently sit it out and watch. 

 Perhaps this nonchalence is due to the fact they’ve other matters on their mind. The pair are being courted by Jeffrey the Araucana cockerel who’s set his sights on these fine ladies as his favourite companions. They regularly take a turn around the garden a trois and all parties concerned seem very happy with the new arrangement. It’s certainly given five-year-old Audrey a new lease of life.  It was lovely to be reminded of the flock’s zest for gardening yesterday. As James prepared our potato bed yesterday, the brown hybrids and old Black Rock jumped straight in to feast on the worms (not so helpful) and other bugs that he turned over as he weeded and aerated the soil.  Again, the sheer confidence of the chickens was staggering – they pecked and scratched right up to the tines of his fork as he rapidly dug away. Of course, our hens’ most endearing quality is their ability to lay eggs that are beautiful inside and out. There was a bumper crop over Easter which complemented home-grown bacon and sausages for a leisurely breakfast yesterday. And there’s nothing like a freshly laid egg with its rich orange yolk and perky white to start the day. Thank goodness for chickens!

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