Three of my chooks, Rosie (ISA) Boss (Australorp) and Wynona (GLW) decided that there simply is not enough excitement in my life, this afternoon, and set out to bring more thrills, spills and chills into my day. I swear when I checked on them, they were happily browsing among the undergrowth in our yard, at the back, underneath the mango tree...
I was inside, pottering about doing this and that, not thinking of the chooks again until the sun started to get a bit low in the sky and I remembered I had planned to dig a pot of sprouted grain into the floor in Bertha's (our broody hen) pen. It was when we headed up to the chook sheds with the pot of sprouts that I began to suspect all was not right, but I shook it off and kept on with getting the sprouts bedded in for Bertha, and then refreshed her water bucket. Then I decided that since the sun was going down, I should get the others in for the night...except...
They were GONE!
I searched the entire yard for them. No sign!
I looked up in the trees, I went into their coop, I called and called and called for them... nothing.
I kept looking over the back fence in the forlorn hope that somehow, they'd gotten over into the pineapple fields behind our property, but I couldn't see any evidence that they had. At one point, Sandra attempted to climb the fence into the pineapple paddock. Not a good idea, she fell and now has a nasty cut on her leg from the barbed wire, has ruined a pair of slacks, and has a sprained ankle for her efforts.
The longer we looked for them, the more my heart sank. I was beginning to think they had A. Been stolen, or B (perish the thought!) A fox had got them.
Finally, we resorted to going into neighbours yards asking if anyone had seen our wayward fowl. No one had, but everyone was very helpful, offering to call us if they saw anything. One neighbour went out in his car looking for them. Another walked up and down the street with his two kids, looking for them as well.
I met one lady who has 8 chooks of her own, and was very sympathetic, telling me she knows how attached we get to chooks...ah a kindred spirit!
I was getting tired, and Sandra was limping heavily on her injured foot so we decided it was time to get the car out and go looking.
We'd only driven about two doors from home (large semi rural blocks) when I spotted my three rogues on a neighbours front lawn!
We pulled the car up at the side of the road, and I climbed out while Sandra did a U turn and came back and parked the car.
Then we had to catch the silly hens! Fortunately Boss and Rosie curtsey for us and are easy to capture because of that, but Wynona is a bit more flighty and gave us a bit of a chase before she finally let me grab her.
All three were carried home in our arms, with Boss and Wynona being lectured all the way by one very relieved but also quite cross 'chookie mum' (me).
They are sooo grounded!