If you were a chicken, would you choose to be safer from predators by being locked up in your coop all day and night? Or, would you choose to free range the property, but risk being caught by a hawk?
I don’t know about you, but I would definitely choose to be free. I would risk the exposure for my freedom to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.
Yesterday, after being awakened by the daily grind of fresh coffee beans, I rolled out of bed and strolled into the kitchen. Walking past the front window I was startled, not by seeing a few of the chickens under the swing on the front porch, but Ditsy, our Polish girl, was so excited to see me, that she tried to fly through the tall floor to ceiling casement window. Yep, ouch, she
bounced right off the glass and landed sideways on the cement.
Yes, I did chuckle, although a piece of me thought I was still dreaming and sleep walking in the kitchen.
We have trained our flock of girls to come over to come to us when we call out, “Hey, girls!”. Yes, they wobble through the woods, the coop, and the yard as fast as they can to get whatever treat we have for them that day.
A few weeks back, Carl and I woke up not to the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans but too loud desperate squawking from the coop. I went into the bathroom to look out the window and I knew something was wrong. Sprawling red wings were pinned against the inside of the chicken run and they definitely weren’t from a chicken. We were astonished, as we confirmed that a red-tailed hawk was caught in the run. We both grabbed our slippers and ran to the back door then towards the coop.
When we reached the coop, I immediately counted the chickens and was relieved that only one of the girls was missing. The hawk dropped to the dirt and tightened its posture as our presence became more threatening. With a slight bang from my fist on the metal cage, the hawk desperately extended its wings away from me and glided through the opening of the silver gate. It was an amazing sight to see, as it gracefully ascended into the blue skies. Within the hour, our copper topped Wyandotte returned to her friends and the safety of the coop, where all the girls chose to remain until the next break of dawn.
On a typical day, like clockwork, every night just before dark, all of the girls seem to always find there way back home. They march one by one, into the wooden coop, then find a perch to rest. Maybe, that is when they count their blessings for surviving another day.