Cry havoc and let slip the ducks of war!

Yesterday Mr. M. Hathaway had a brief taste of freedom on Occidental Acres.  Cleverly disguised as punishment, the experiment turned out quite well.  We chased him back into the duck house after supper, but didn't really have to do that as it's quite likely he would have gone back all by himself.  I wanted to make sure he got the memo that ducks go home at twilight.

Owing to yesterday's brief success (Mr. H did not fly away or get eaten), the females were loosed this morning and the flock is now grazing on weeds, saplings and slugs in the farm yard. They are quite happily playing in the mud and puddles, stretching their wings (my girls will fly once their snipped flight feathers grow back) and chasing one another around.

In a surprising turn of events, upon opening the chicken coop for morning inspection, I saw the hens hurriedly trying to hide something in the wood shavings at the back.  I didn't think anything of it, until I opened the windows.  Because two of the three windows are located inside the coop, I closed the door so the girls couldn't walk out behind me.  What I saw on the back of the door was alarming to say the least.

It would seem that the chickens are mounting strident protests all around!  I've confined them to their run since yesterday as we been experiencing thunderstorms the past couple of days.  This does not make them happy. Several of them have launched a peaceful sit-in at the gate. A few others have wing-cuffed themselves to the page-wire fence, and still others are marching with signs and chanting slogans such as "Hey, hey, ho ho! We are chickens and want to go!", "Chickens are under attack! What you going to do? ACT UP, FIGHT BACK!" and "We want freedom! When do we want it? Corn!"  Truth be told, that last one is a little worrying.

To boot, Attila The Hen flew up to the top of the fence and momentarily considered a bid for freedom. Until she lost her balance, that is, and flew back into the run.  Rather surprisingly, she's the first to try and fly out - trying new things usually rests squarely in Hillary or Berwyn's domain.  Added to her more demure disposition, she's rather portly and I've not seen her fly that high before.   The other chickens quickly gathered and ushered her away, but not before casting glances upward, appraising their own abilities to thwart the perimeter fencing.

Is Occidental Acres on the verge of insurrection?


  1. Once again I love your blog. I laughed heartily!!!]

  2. Thanks! The chickens are inherently funny... I can't get enough of them. I just wish I could take some good photos of them so everyone would really get an idea of how much personality they have!