If you like Goat Berries on Facebook, you already know I have a hen who doesn’t like to enter the coop at night. One extremely tense, scary time, I got unsolicited help from Giordano Kitty who chased her around the garden (gah!) until she went in, but since then, she no longer chooses the low branches of the fig tree for a hiding spot. She ain’t dumb.
So we’ve been playing, ahem, chicken now for a while ever since we let them out of their cage, which had been in the chicken coop for several weeks, supposedly acclimating them to the space. In fact, the first two or three nights “free,” she did go into the coop at night with everyone else, no problem. Not anymore.
In the beginning, I couldn’t find her at all when I went looking in the evening, but then in the morning, she was always there waiting for me, looking around with a “Hey, why is everyone still sleeping?!” look on her face.
But then I had a talk with her beau:
And let him know the potential seriousness of the situation. We do have foxes around here and also plenty of stray cats. So soon thereafter, when I went to close them in for the night, even though he was already inside, he came back out and started calling to her . . . and looking up.
And there she was in the mandarin tree. Really, really high! So after coaxing her down with the help of a bamboo stick to shake the branches, I got her in the coop. This has now been the routine for about a week, unless I show up before she’s in the tree, in which case I actually don’t have much trouble getting her in.
All I can figure is that she doesn’t really like hanging out with the big hen or perhaps the other rooster, who are both big personalities, but this hen in the tree routine is getting old. She doesn’t even remotely respond to feed or my calling or even, as it turned out, her little boyfriend calling her. Just the stick.
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