Gridlock in the coop, and Autumn goes AWOL

We had a full-up traffic jam on the nesting counter yesterday. Hope was camped out in her preferred spot in what I call her “laying trance” – feathers fluffed and eyes glazed  – very serious about this business of laying eggs. She generally meditates on her work like this for a half-hour to an hour before producing an egg.  Yesterday she had to accomplish this with an impatient Amelia looming, glaring at her, and all but tapping her feathered little feet in annoyance. Never mind that the nesting counter is plenty big enough for both of them; there’s just something magical about that particular corner. They eventually worked it out with two more beautiful eggs to show for their work.

Amelia knows how to loom!

I let the girls free-range a bit while I cleaned the coop. with lots of “help” from Autumn, who insisted on standing wherever I tried to work. Since I was in a rush to get to a meeting, I was relieved when she finally hopped down so I could concentrate on finishing the chores. Except that a few minutes later, I heard a ruckus outside the coop – the girls were making such a racket I thought they were being attacked. When I went outside to investigate, I realized that Autumn was missing, and the others were loudly protesting her absence.

"You looking for me?"

Since Autumn is the smallest of the hens, it’s easy for her to flap over the fence, so I knew she could be anywhere. The gardeners were working nearby and joined me in searching for her, but after ten minutes she was still AWOL. I was getting worried, and so were the other three chickens, who continued to call out loudly for her. Finally we heard a muffled response to their cries, and we tracked down the little wanderer. She had found her way into the garage where she was scouring the corners for bugs. The gardeners, the three other ladies and I were all very happy to find her!

After her adventure, she rewarded us with her second beautiful egg, which the neighbor kids discovered when they stopped by yesterday afternoon.

They brought their homework along and the CE set up a table for them in the roofed pen since it was raining. They visited the chickens for quite awhile, staying toasty dry and drinking hot chocolate while the rain fell all around. Another good day in the kingdom of chickens…

All's well that ends well for Autumn

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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3 Responses to Gridlock in the coop, and Autumn goes AWOL

  1. Katherine Gunther says:

    What’s that I hear? Ah – the CE already working on something to keep Autumn in the coop.

  2. mlgcomm says:

    WHEW!!! So glad Autumn is fine. Adorable picture of neighborhood kids doing homework in the coop!

  3. jess says:

    holy missing chickens, batman! glad to hear she was found safe and sound. i remember finding another rogue animal in the garage after a heart-racing missing pet search….cody had somehow managed to climb up on top of the open garage door and couldn’t get down. shooo bear!

    my bet for the next awol pet: amelia plops herself down on top of the gazebo in an attempt to be a wind vane.

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