I was out cleaning the chicken run and re-bedding it. The new chickens in the run, Rosie and Charlotte, were freaked out by the wheelbarrow and managed to make their escape through the gap between the top of the gate and the netting hanging over the gate. I went around the corner with the wheelbarrow to see them sitting astride the fence dividing my back yard from my neighbors. Because they were still wild and apt to fly created a touchy scenario. Deja’ vu of the redneck Thanksgiving. What to do? If I went out there they are likely to fly into my neighbor’s yard. So, as I crawled out the gate, they flew into the blueberry netting a couple of yards away from me, but still on the fence. I took the round about way into my neighbors back yard and scared them soundly into my yard. Rosie ended up on the clothes line- on top of my fresh sheets that were hanging out to dry. You can imagine the thoughts going through my head seeing that! Fortunately, Rosie left the sheets unsoiled when she hopped down to the ground.
I decided to leave the girls free range, thinking they would head to their typical roost for the night. No- apparently they thought the gate would be a much better roost since it was far away from the offending wheelbarrow that was still parked around the corner in the run. I walked calmly to the gate and positioned myself between the gate and the fence, thinking erroneously that they would hop off the gate and walk into the chicken run. Charlotte thought it would be a much better idea to jump past me onto the fence and sashay down the netting over the run. Unfortunately for her I have long arms and before she knew it I had flicked her off the netting and onto the ground in my yard. At that point Rosie panicked and jumped down next to Charlotte. Now I had them both together on the ground. I had to herd them slowly and calmly into the chicken run so they wouldn’t take flight again. Finally they strutted back where they belonged. I closed the gate and secured the netting over it before I moved the wheelbarrow. What should have been a simple task was made into a major production due to flighty birds and all the necessary protective measures needed to assure the girls would stay where they belonged.