Just been out to shut the chickens up for the night, only to find them still up, wandering about. Now my hens are in bed by 8pm at the latest even on light nights like this. Their routine is that they are kept shut in, in the mornings so that they can lay their eggs in the huts and then I let let out in in the paddock at lunchtime for them to wander and scratch. They are up early, shouting at me for some food as soon as they see me, then quieten until lunchtime when they start shouting at me again to be let out. I listen to them squawking and complaining whilst I am in the veg patch, until I give them their freedom and then not hear another peep from them. I love to watch them wandering, scratching, pecking; going about their independent chicken business, full of self importance.
Tonight was different though. All huddled together in a group, scratching still at nearly 9pm, not wandering far from their hut or from each other. Michael came out to see why I was taking so long over a usual five minute job. He reckons something has disturbed them for them to act so differently. It was funny earlier when I went to let them out at about 4pm, (I was late today as I'd been into Norwich), they were all huddled in their hut, I presumed it was because of the heat. The only thing we can think of was that we found a dead blackbird in their run, and wondered if this had got in and been flying about, unable to get out and this is what frightened them.
I am pleased to report that they are all now safely tucked up in bed, even though three of them went into the other hut (I have six in one hut and run and nine in the other). Phew! I shall probably be down on eggs tomorrow though!
Stats today -
Eggs produced - 6 (probably due to above)
1/2 dozen eggs = £0.90