On Thursday afternoon we picked up 4 hens from a local supplier. We were all very excited to see them introduced into our backyard, and they were promptly freed from the cardboard box we used to transported them home in, to explore the new terrain. This was a mistake.
Boris, our 13 1/2 year old labrador, who has trouble climbing the back stairs to come inside these days, had a sudden burst of youth, and showed great interest in the new arrivals. The poor birds were horrified.
I never realised how many hiding spots our yard provided. It is very easy to see a blond labrador moving about in the garden beds - not so for small brown hens who can stay incredibly still, and therefore camouflaged. It took Andrew and I two hours to locate them and shut them in their coop.
The hens are 15 weeks old, and won't start laying til January. I am looking forward to all the fresh eggs, and the chicken manure I can add to the compost.