Late this past Summer, I surprised the girls with a chicken toy. It was perfect. They loved it and looked forward to me tossing it into the run. It kept them entertained for hours. Sometimes I would fill it with scratch or with sunflower seeds and other times with dried meal worms and the like. It was great fun tossing it in the run every few days and watching them run over to greet me and the chicken toy near the run door. We got into a new routine and like Pavlovian puppies, they knew just what to expect when they saw me and heard me call out, “Girls” as I neared the run. At the end of the day, as the girls settled in for the night, I would retrieve the chicken toy and store it away near the treats. Until one day this Fall, the unexpected happened.
I had gone about my regular business and filled the chicken toy with a mixture of sunflower seeds and meal worms. I then went off to run my errands for the day. When I returned to check for eggs, the chicken toy was nowhere to be found. I looked around with a rake and never did find it. The girls had buried it. I figured in a few weeks, I would be cleaning out the run in preparation for Winter. I would surely find it then. It was mid October.
November had arrived. I found myself, as expected, out in the run giving it one good raking, removing compost and setting it aside to cure during the Winter. All the while, I kept an eye out for the chicken toy. Despite my efforts, I never found it. The chickens must have really buried it deeply. I had written it off as a loss and planned to order another one next time I placed an order online. The ground would soon be frozen.
Today, I went out to share some broccoli with the girls before heading out on my errands. I returned around 3 pm and all the girls were standing near the coop door calling to me. They always do this when they hear my car pull up the driveway. I went over and saw eight happy chickens and the chicken toy laying in the middle of the run. My heart skipped a beat. I could not believe it! They must have found it and dug it up! I went inside the house and grabbed some rice as a distraction and then tossed it into the run. With a child’s rake, I reached inside and rolled the chicken toy within my hand’s grasp. As the girls enjoyed the pilaf, I brushed off the chicken toy and returned it to where I store the treats. I could not believe that after 2 months, like a dog retrieving a bone, the girls decided to unearth the chicken toy just in time for Winter.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest