It is indeed quiet - almost too quiet I would say...every time I go past they either scramble to the net and follow me round the perimeter the whole group of them keeping pace as I pace step for step and when I stop so do they or they stand there and just follow me with their eyes. It can be most disconcerting.
When they did that the other morning I tried running round the pen to see if they would fall over as they hurriedly twisted their necks to keep up but just as I got to the critical point Dear Charlie bellowed out from the upstairs window: “What the bloody hell do you think you are doing? There’s no time for playing silly buggers with chickens! It’s nearly quarter to nine, you’re still in your nightie, you’re wearing my boots, and I’m going to be late for tennis.”
I wouldn’t have minded the telling off but just at that moment Roger our 65-year old next door neighbour appeared and gave me a rather too appreciative grin remarking that it was mighty chilly now!
I gave him as quelling a look as I could and I gathered my dressing gown close about me but since my husband’s wellies are about five sizes larger than mine I was unable to make a bolt for it and had to retreat at a more dignified pace to the sound of my neighbour chuckling and none to quietly either!
One thing I have noted about the chickens is that sometimes if I stop and take the opportunity to look at them too closely they get all skittery and start running around making it impossible to count to them.
I swear there is something going on inside but the only odd thing I have found on opening the hut to check just what IS going on is seeing one of the Burnt Brothers (I still haven't gotten round to doing the dirty and sending them off for the pot) sitting in one of the broody boxes inside rather than using the perch. In general the cockerels always perch rather than nest.
I think I’ll have a closer inspection of that particular broody box tomorrow….
But seriously I am agreeably surprised how in general they seem to be bearing up well and the good news is that as long as we don’t have another outbreak they could all be allowed to roam free in two weeks time!