Mr J and I have neared divorce over his chicks! It's not that he has the chicks, or really even how many he has... It's that he's let them run wild around here! Imagine the grief it would bring to Elin (and my heart truly goes out to her) if Tiger let his chicks run wild around the mansion, like Mr J or this guy...
OK, maybe it's not the same, but I've also experienced tremendous grief. Just take a look at the destruction Mr J's chicks have caused in my territory! (click to enlarge any photo)
I had started some young plants here to fill in the open space. They're gone now. The border and decorative rocks are all but buried in the mulch, while the barrier that's suppose to be buried has been pulled to the surface by the nasty birds' scratching.
Let me interject here that I do not like chickens. As much as I love animals, I do not consider chickens in the same catagory. I do not like chickens. I love fresh eggs. I like chicken. I do not like chickens... plural... as in alive and running around outside my house!
See the big hole right smack-dab (whatever that means) in the middle of my lemon thyme?
No, I didn't put the hole there as an architectural element. Those dad-blame (whatever that means) birds did it! They dug holes in the centers of most of my plants.
My red sedum has suffered the most damage. Just look at this...
See the big bare spots? ...the chunks of bark laying about? This sedum is much more prone to breakage than the thyme or other plants. Here, the chickens have removed every bit of it that was above ground. Fortunately, it is hardy and will probably grow back. I'm really hoping the white spots are just some left over snow flurries that managed to snuggle into some shadowy crevices.
In this corner of the sidewalk and driveway, I had a nice clump of Japanese blood grass... had being the operative word here.
Notice again the revealed weed blocker, and the way the mulch is scattered over the jelly pebbles. The mulch used to be just around the grass and on the other side of the border rocks.
Now that I've told you what my garden used to look like, let me tell you what the chickens used to enjoy... running free. They are still free-range. It's just that their range is smaller than it used to be.
Here is what they used to have...
The big hen house is in the foreground. The north end of their pen runs between the little red house and the horse trailer. (That's Benji coming up the drive.)
In this photo, you can see a distinctive line in front of the hen house, but behind the waterer that is sitting on the pile of bricks. (keeps the water cleaner)
That is where the fence used to be. We extended their area up almost to the barn, as seen in this next shot...
Their area actually goes past the side of the barn. Mr J has a compost pile over there. It is like a five-star restaurant to the chickens. So now they have free access to it. It's full of little critters they eat.
On a sad note, Mr J has lost one of his hens. She was a beautiful golden lace. We don't have a clue why she died. Mr J wonders if she got into something there in the tall grass by the barn. FIL has dropped a lot of nails around there and Mr J found some broken glass.
He will miss her...