There is a knock on the door!!!

I blink in surprise.

There is never a knock on the door these days, let alone at this time in the morning. The weather outside is foul; I have only just woken up the chickens to let them out into their escape-proof run, and am looking forward to a nice cup of hot coffee.

I open the door. It is Mrs Short Tony, announcing that the chickens are escaping.

Being a man, I really am no good whatsoever at multi-tasking (I do not think that it is sexist to say that). Therefore there is some comfort in the fact that I am able to combine my reaction at her news with some much needed practice for next week’s National Face-Falling Championships.

Stomping outside, I find Short Tony grimly banging in nails. The wind howls pitilessly through the trees. The chickens peck around innocently.

“I caught them sitting on this fence,” he explains, indicating a piece of fence that is surely too high for chickens to get up to. I look at the chickens. I look at the fence. To be fair, we had identified it as a Point of Potential Weakness, but had assumed that they would not be able to jump that far.

We spend the next bitterly cold hour raising the height of the fence by two feet.

I am learning all the time about this chicken business. So far, I have hung up a washing line for them to use, and constructed a useful Perchomatic 3000 out of old bits of wood. I do not see why they would wish to go elsewhere, and am a very tiny bit hurt by their attitude.

65 Comments

  1. Ric Locke punned. Is it allowed? We need to know.

  2. So a man decides to take up farming and he goes to the local farm supplies shop and says he’d like 100 baby chickens. The following week he is back for another 100 and again in the third week. So the farming supplies salesman says “How come you need so many chickens? and the man says “Well I dunno really. They don’t seem to be growing. Do you think I am planting them too deep?
    This may be an idea whatya think?

  3. Psssst, JonnyB, I just found out about triffids: ‘Without sighted keepers to maintain their fences and to check the tethers that kept them in place, small groups of triffids began escaping from their farms and established wild populations. Urban triffids, with nobody to prevent their stings from regrowing, soon joined them’…not that I’m saying your chickens ARE triffids…

  4. Go for the Foie Gras route, feed them so much they can’t fly, and will be too lazy to dig. Plus you get nice pate afterwards.

  5. Sorry to sound like a bit of a smart ass …. but I think you’ll find that chickens fly rather than jump … quite a lot of beating of wing is involved … methinks 😉

  6. Short Tony’s dog isn’t red and shouts “Boom Boom” rather than barks is it?

    Left alone, au natural and unclipped chickens fly but are very unreliable over long distances where pigeons easily win.

  7. Hullo cantstoplaughingnow and Min and Louise and welcome!!!

    Louise – yes, I know – AND IT IS FULL OF VERY FIT WOMEN!!! It quite shocked me when I first saw it. I have not joined it as it would be undignified but I am very chuffed.

  8. ah bless you Jonny! i think you should join! (without a photo of course!)

  9. Oli: he’s got a nice pate already. Quite a BIG one.

  10. They can fly. You have to clip their feathers a little to stop them.

  11. This chicken business is a case of learn as you go, but i must tell you that whilst they do fly, it is unusual and only when they feel threatened, from say a dog or something. Also there is no need to clip their wings, as long as they are well looked after, they won’t go very far. Mine wonder around the garden, come back when they feel a bit peckish(!) for kitchen scraps and corn, put themselves to bed in their shed and are REALLY easy to look after. I do think you paid rather dearly for yours by the way £7.50 EACH!!!

  12. I bet all the 41 more influential bloggers in the world know how to control their chickens…..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/mar/09/blogs

  13. Nono – all they can do is influence them. Except that Huffington women – she controls them via mind waves.

  14. How did the National Face-Falling Championships go?
    One would imagine that it would difficult to tell the winners from the losers in such a competition…

  15. Fiasco. The judges refused to award the gold medal, due to the standard of entry not being up to scratch. Then they rescinded that and shared it between the 438 entrants.

    I am not entering again.

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