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Optical Illusion

Posted by on Thursday 30 December 2010 in chickens | 2 comments

I had a lie in this morning. Not only is it the do-nothing week between Christmas and New Year, I’m self-employed so my boss is very, very understanding when I want to stay in bed rather than start work on time. It’s also been well above freezing for the last few days so I’ve not had to worry about the chickens & their frozen-solid drinkers for the first time in a month.

Or did I have to worry about the chickens after all?

When I finally woke up, I did so with the air of getting up, weeing, getting a cup of tea and returning to bed for a leisurely morning. Then I looked out of the bedroom window and noticed that Buff, the Buff Leghorn, seemed to be outside the chicken run – in the airlock space between the run and the rest of the garden. The run is enclosed as completely as it can be (some rats have made incursions over winter – we’ll see them as soon as the soil is workable), with a full (wire) roof to stop them escaping or foxes/cats/dogs jumping in. There was no way she could have got out. Or was there?

Still blurry eyed, I went to a different window – she still seemed to be outside, stood on top of the metal food dustbin. There is an old patio chair of a similar height just on the inside of the run’s wire but I couldn’t see any wire between me and her. I began to panic. They’d be no weeing or teaing for me!

I dressed as quickly as possible and ran down through the house, gathering John along the way. He asked my first questions: “how did she get out? how are you going to get her back in?” She’s considerably flightier than the others so doesn’t usually let me within a few feet of her, let alone pick her up.

How long had she been out there? Overnight? Unprotected and cold? Had a fox got in and made an exit? Was she hurt? Were the others hurt? The questions raced through my mind as fast as I raced through the house.

She was still there when we reached the first level of the garden – standing on one leg, a little chilly, looking a little lost. I ran faster.

Then as I hit the bottom of the steps – the two flights of stairs between the top of the garden and their coop – the perspective changed and she was clearly perfectly comfortably perched on the patio chair inside the wire.

Bloomin’ chickens.


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  1. Linda

    I’m worried about the long term health risks of my chicken keeping ;) They raise my blood pressure and anxiety level sky-high when I think they may escape i.e. during a move (we move their coop and run around the garden -semi-permiculture/semi-lazy weeding).
    Still they are good to talk to and provide great eggs so the risk-benefit ratio is probably on the good side!


  1. About Buff, our buff Leghorn chicken | The Really Good Life - [...] Here are a few fun facts about Buff, the optical illusion-tastic chicken: [...]

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