Sitting in my second floor study, I can see the back yard where the former owners’ play area carpeted deep in wood chips meets the lawn. There is no barrier. The chips stayed on their side, the lawn on its, until I started letting the chickens out. Now the chips are creeping across the lawn, thrown to scatter like confetti behind the chickens when they dig. Too late, I realized I can’t mow the area of mixed chips and grass, now several feet across, unless I want to wipe out the mower blade. Oops.
The outside always looks darker from inside than it actually is. At 8:10 I thought the chickens might be settled for the night and went out for the ritual of lifting protesting but relaxed bantams from the nest boxes and putting bantams inside the hen house before shutting the door. Getting them at dusk instead of full dark is preferable because I don’t have to bring a flashlight and there’s enough light outside for them to find a perch on their own.
When I got there, three of the four hens came out of the house, a little sleepy, like children in their pajamas wandering down to the living room for one last attempt at staying up late. DartMouth was the only one to stay on her perch. We hung around a bit together until they decided there was nothing exciting happening (no food) and they might as well go back to bed. Then I put the banties inside. Edna seems a little better with this than Zora. Zora is a fully committed sitter and grumbled mightily. She was still grumbling when I shut the door, leaving her to find her way to a perch.