Chicken Run, Northwest Style

Feb 5th
These legs are made for running!

These legs are made for running!

Have you ever watched the movie Chicken Run? If not – and you have chickens – it’s a must see. It was funny before we had chickens, now it’s just darn right hilarious. Our own gals staged their own version of chicken run yesterday. When hubs tried to be nice and feed them some scraps and give them a scratch on the neck Blackberry, one of two barred rocks, grabbed a piece of bread and made a dash for the yard. Buttercup and Clover, our buff and one of our lavender orpingtons, joined in the jail break and before Todd had a chance to yell “halt!” they were half way across the yard and heading straight for their favorite picking grounds – the compost pile.

These escapades have been increasing. Last week when I cleaned out the coop, Sweet Pea – the other barred rock- made a run for it by jumping into the half cleaned coop and then hoping out of the nesting box hatch I had left open while I was cleaning. The other girls were pacing wildly at the run door trying to figure out how Sweet Pea had performed this miraculous trick. I, however, was not amused.

It’s really our fault though. The gals are now 8 months old and the first half of their lives was spent mostly outside, roaming in outdoor, sunshine filled bliss. The lavender orpingtons in particular LOVE to sun bathe. It’s been a bit of a rude awakening when the warm days of summer transformed into the gray, drizzly, depressing gloom of a Northwest winter. Welcome to Seattle my little chooks!

Sunbathing lavender orpingtons, Clover and Thistle

Sunbathing lavender orpingtons, Clover and Thistle

We still try to give the girls free roaming time whenever we can, but so often it’s wet and we don’t feel comfortable leaving them to wander unsupervised in an urban neighborhood with a large population of feral cats, roaming dogs, nosy hawks and the occasional coyote.

So for now, our little flock of 6 must make do in their run. Its 10 x 11 feet and we do our best to entertain them with scratch, chicken tetherball (I’ll post a video of this in the near future) and visits from us. Besides, you’re not a true Northwest native until you’ve been indoctrinated by a long, dreary winter spent going bat-crazy indoors.