I keep my hens behind electric net fencing, both to protect them from predators, and to protect your produce from the hens. Hens love to scratch and peck at the ground, and small seedlings and hens do not happily mix. The gals have a generous 1/4 acre yard to run around in, that (most of the year) if full of green grass and weeds, bugs and grubs galore - in short, everything a chicken might want.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and these new laying hens are some of the spunkier fowl I've ever met. They have been escaping, in twos and threes, on a daily basis. I'm still not sure how. I've spent far too much time lately chasing chickens all over the farm. And I'm a little exasperated. I'd really like someone, anyone to explain to me why this works the way it does: I have two legs, a chicken has two legs. My legs are a lot longer than a chicken's legs. I'm no marathon runner, but it defies the laws of physics that a foot-tall hen can run two or three times faster than I can. They're scratching everywhere they should not scratch. They're laying their little pullet eggs, but I'll be darned if I can figure out where. Got any good hen-catching methods? I'm all ears. There are no pullet eggs this week, because I can't figure out where the little ladies are hiding them. Large eggs are still in very limited supply, as the older girls are in the thick of their molting process (a half-feathered hen isn't very pretty, and they did not want me taking their pictures!)
In other news, we're still accepting new members for our Winter CSA program until the end of the month. And there are just five more weekends to prowl through the Midtown Farmers Market for you fresh local farm goods - carrots and broccoli coming soon!