Feathers everywhere

Our chickens have decided that this is the summer of scares for us.

The first incident, Lucy’s surviving the raccoon attack was no ones fault.

Astrid dying of old age was sad, unexpected and also no chickens fault.

But this latest escapade…. This was so seriously the chickens faults.

Ok, maybe it was really mine, but I am going to gloss that over and blame the chickens for what happened.

It was a beautiful, uneventful Saturday afternoon in early September. We were pulling into our driveway, on our way back from visiting my parents on the coast, talking about getting the trash ready to go to the dump.

The sight that greeted us was heart stopping- feathers all over the front yard. Through the alley we could see the gate to the chicken yard wide open and more feathers floating around the grass.

Mr. Gillis parked the truck and I hollered to grab Izzy as I jumped out and ran around back. Amid utter confusion and despair, I counted 7 chickens in the fence. This was over half our flock missing. As my husband is taking care of our daughter, I’m taking stock of who’s huddled on the other side of the yard and who’s missing.

I start repeating the names of the missing like a mantra. Suddenly I catch sight of a black and white head- over in our neighbors yard is three of the missing nine! I catch Ethel and manage to run Peatree across the road and into the woods. In the confusion Rocky had gone missing again.

After a few minutes of complete panic and me giving up hope we’d ever see that half of our flock again, Mr Gillis convinced me to take care of Izzy while he took a walk and looked for other hens.

The next door neighbors yard where we spotted Ethel, Rocky and Peatree.

A few minutes passed and I looked out the kitchen window, while on the phone with my consoling mother and father, and saw Matilda had returned and was looking to get back into the fence! I got her back in and a few minutes later my hubby came home… Herding Rocky back up over the hill. Then we found out that Dawn was hiding under another neighbors porch. She was so far under tho, we had to wait for her to decide to come out… And then we found Milk hiding out at the church… We got her home and that brought us down to only 4 missing… Lucy, Pippi, BB and Peatree.

The across the street neighbor where we caught BB and Lucy

Well over the next couple hours, we kept watching out the windows, and taking walks with Izzy. By evening, BB, Peatree and Lucy had made their way home and we had wrangled them into the fence. It was time to put Izzy to bed and the hubby and I had lost hope that Pippi would make it back.

Mr Gillis looked out the living room window and saw Pippi down the street, pecking in another persons yard! He ran out and got her back. Turns out the reason we saw so many feathers when we first got home was that Pippi had started her yearly molt, and was looking pretty raggedy.

Before the chickens went in for the night, they had all managed to make it back home!

Most of the girls coming over to say hi.

It was just like my mom and dad told me, they know home. Give them time and they’ll come back.

So, we are a happy whole family again, but still have no clue why the chicken crossed the road. What’s important is that they crossed the road again and came back home.

Until next time, have a wicked good evening.



Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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