We free-range our chickens, just like we free-range our kids. It's something I really believe in, but I've just found out that they've been eating my little cabbage and broccoli plants from the garden. The chickens, not the kids. They've also been laying fewer eggs, which makes no sense since the weather is gorgeous and they're eating like pigs. Again, the chickens, not the kids.
So, Richard and I came up with a plan of attack. We wouldn't free-range them anymore, at least not until they quit eating my produce and stepped it up a notch with the egg laying.
Now, our coop is actually an old baby barn. There's a heavy outside door, and a lighter inside door. They both shut pretty snugly. This afternoon I glanced out the window and there the chickens were, pecking away at my plants. What?! How?! Obviously, someone must have let them out.
I rallied up the troops and asked them who had opened the doors to let the chickens out. Nobody did it. Wasn't us. Then how? asked I.
Simple. According to my eldest, all thirteen chickens huddled together, leaned their collective weight against the barn door and shoved it open. Just like a scene from Chicken Run.
They did it again today. Smart chickens.