We still have 11 chicken, the ever vigilant rooster and his 10 hens. I may have quipped in the past about putting a chicken in the pot but we do not eat our chicken. Since I began keeping chicken a few years ago I have lost only one to a predator. I would say, comparatively, that they lead a pretty high class life style. In the morning, when the sun has well risen, the automatic door opener hoists up the sliding door and they emerge to range the paddock and hang out under the tree and in the thicket. Gimpie, she with the bad hip, manoeuvers over the door ledge and joins them later in the morning. Wanda and Randa fly over the 5ft fence and head to their two favorite spots – under the deck to snack on birdseed from the deck feeder and now, more commonly, over to the compost heap where many snacks await.
While it is helpful to have the chicken on the compost there is a drawback. I don’t want them on the finished heap which will soon be turned into the vegetable garden, since their poop could present salmonella issues. To date they have focused on the unfinished compost where there are more goodies to eat.
When sunset approaches, Wanda and Randa will usually rejoin the flock when they head to the coop for dinner. Except for Gimpie – she waits patiently for me to pick her up and carry her to the coop – she is our passenger chicken.