Chickens are silly, clumsy birds - but they’re adorable

Chickens
Maggie Davies

Our one remaining chicken hasn’t laid an egg in years, but she’s become part of the family, writes Ross McQueen.

Emma Beddington’s piece about a fox taking her hens (28 July) reminded me of my own sadness at the loss of our own small flocks over the years.

Chickens are silly, clumsy, adorable birds that follow you around the garden, scrabbling in the freshly turned earth, searching for worms.

We have only one chicken now, the last member of what must be our fourth or fifth flock. She hasn’t laid an egg in years, but she’s become part of the family.

There is something too lovable about the way she waddles over excitedly when we enter the garden, and we wouldn’t part with her.

Each hen has its own personality, its own little quirks and foibles, but we’ve never named ours, conscious of the ever precarious little lives that they lead.

Nothing comes close to that awful feeling when you go out to the henhouse and find only feathers. You chide yourself for the grief that you feel. They are only chickens, after all. And yet you do feel it.

Recently a pine marten moved into the area. It’s taken three of a neighbour’s hens already. In May I and my dad built an impenetrable cage around the neighbour’s henhouse to protect them. It looks like a prison yard – an eyesore of wooden posts and wire.

But then what wouldn’t we do for our hens?

(Story source: The Guardian)

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