Today I did a major clean out of the garage. While I was doing this, I figured that the flock could get a little extra time free ranging this morning and early afternoon. As I was cleaning, I checked on the chickens now and then.
Tilly, the Australorp, is the head hen. Wherever Tilly goes, the flock follows. It is so adorable now to see Tilly and Chocolate dominate the flock’s whereabouts. Through my research, I have learned when chickens free range, they allow the head hen to lead them to new places. Australorps apparently like to remain close to their coop, never wandering too far. I thought that this would be a good thing.
Since I have had them, they have never been more than 15 feet from their coop. They typically are content using the driveway as their barrier and remaining on one side with their coop and run. Despite all my efforts of coaxing and chicken talk they have never strayed from their usual favorite spots. However, today something changed.
The flock today stepped onto the pea stone gravel in the driveway. They were having so much fun picking up stones and throwing them down. I watched as they picked up their feet staring curiously at the bottoms. The rocks must have felt different from the the grass, woods and mulch that they typically roamed through. This lasted for about 20 minutes. What fun they had!
Then I went over to the lush green lawn, virgin chicken territory. I squatted down and pretended to be a chicken. Curious about my actions, they looked up. Suddenly as if walking across molten lava, they came to me. The chickens crossed the metaphorical road over the driveway and into the lawn. It did not last long. Their time was brief. When they decided to return closer to home, they fled as if a coyote was chasing them. They hopped and flew back with poor little Feathers trailing behind. I wonder if and when they will do it again? I’m glad that they crossed over the driveway. It opened up a potentially whole new world for them.