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  • Writer's pictureToni Kenyon

Backyard Chicken Capers

I’ve wanted chickens forever!

Not for their eggs or their meat, but for their assistance in the vegetable garden.

I ordered these girls during lockdown.

Due to a number of issues--including the non-delivery of their coop--it was weeks after New Zealand moved into Covid-19 Lockdown Level 1 before I could go and collect them.

One damp and cold winter Saturday at the tail end of June, I damn near drove to Hamilton from northern Auckland (a three hour round trip!) to pick up four lovely girls that had been held for me since the middle of lockdown.

The Saturday I brought them home was the wettest we’d seen for weeks. In fact, it felt as if the Auckland drought broke that very weekend.

Saturday night, I lay in bed listening to the howling wind and the pouring rain worrying myself sick that my 16 week old babies were going to float away.

We had 46mm of rain that night!

The next morning the four ladies walked down the chicken ramp like nothing had happened and they've been pretty much bullet proof since.

I continue to put them to bed at night in their coop and count them out again the next morning, breathing a sigh of relief when four happy little cluckers tuck into their breakfast.

They're eating out of Bruno's beautiful heavy stainless steel dog bowl. I often wonder what our dearly loved and recently deceased golden retriever would think of the situation.

Kowning Bruno's benign nature, given a chance he'd have stepped aside and allowed the ladies to eat his dinner as well.

It's fair to say that over the last few weeks, the ladies and I have become quite fond of each other. My dearly beloved has become quite fond of them as well. They're beginning to show their individual characters and I can waste hours just sitting and watching their funny little habits and interactions.

L-R Twickel, Thumbelina, Rosea & Miss Katherine. Named after varieties of Lavender—a great suggestion from one of my wonderful writing friends.

I now have a full set of “Birds and Bees” perfect for a romance writing gardener. Let the urban gardening adventures begin!


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