The Great Escape

Major alert in the coop today. With John away in Shetland and all 4 kids away in different countries, I was left in sole charge. Gasp! Now I wouldn’t have a difficulty with that if it was only office stuff I was left in charge of, because that is the normal state of affairs.  But animals and a load of hanging baskets to water? Grandma popped down to say hello and I quickly roped her into some work in the laundry, a button-sewing job on my commonwealth Games tracky bottoms… oh and to check on the animals. Alert Alert … 4 of the chicks were on the wrong side of the fence, including chickadee, my favourite. Sparkles was making a terrible racket as the chicks are vulnerable without her massive skirts to hide under. I responded to the call – in my flip flops. Vaulted over the fence (well clambered, trying to maintain modesty in a skirt), and into the goat pen. Archie, Jock and Tim threw themselves at me in a frenzy of love Baaaaaa’ing madly. Maybe they were hungry as their troughs were empty, and a pigeon was eating the last of their food. But they would have to wait, this was an emergency. I shook the goat poo off my flip flop and headed to the fence where the escapee chicks were last seen, with Archie and Jock treading on my bare toes. Luckily Tim is too fat and slow to keep up or I would have lost a foot under his weight.


At this point I noticed Claude doing his round of the perimeter fence, so we had a bit of a chat about strategy. He was cock-a-doodle-doing a little more stridently than usual. I approached from the other side with sparkles offering encouragement from her side. She was tunnelling in the dust to make a big enough gap for the chicks to get back in.

claude and chicks

Meanwhile Grandma stood outside the fence with a laundry basket and a towel; don’t ask me why, I’m only surprised that she didn’t go and boil some water. Anyway between us all we managed to rescue Chickadee and her siblings from the jaws of death – maybe.  A quick head count revealed 7 chicks alive and well. My goodness I felt adequate. The euphoria soon wore off as I contemplated my next move.

Now, what should I do about the hole under the fence? Block it off? But what if they get out somewhere else and can’t get back in? But if I don’t, what if some weaseley nasty creature gets in? Oh the challenges faced by a lady farmer.

I’ll ponder that one while I’m wheeling the watering machine thingy around all 14 lodges in order to water all the baskets. That will take ages, and the water dribbles down my arm because of the leak in the watering pipe. Then when all that’s done, I’ll maybe catch upon some office work, grab a bite to eat and then head out for my temporary job as a Clydesider with Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. If you see any escaped chicks, then you’ll have to deal with them until I get back later on tonight.