Sorry Girls, The Party is Over

It has been a very quiet winter here at Brookwood Shire.  As New England winters go, it has been pretty mild..there were a few very cold days, but it was milder than last year and there hasn’t been much snow.  As a result, the girls’ big run, which was never intended to be anything but a temporary run, is still standing.IMG_5049This is the first winter it has survived.  It leans a bit in places, but it is still up.

This has been wonderful for my girls.  They refuse to come out if it is very cold or very windy or if there is SNOW (they hate snow) but on the milder sunny days, they enjoy being out.

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It has made winter much easier to be able to get out a bit.

But then Prudence realized she could make a hole in the fence and escape.

IMG_5059Here she is out by the greenhouse exploring.

IMG_5058And Beatrix has followed her and the two of them just love getting out and exploring the gardens.

IMG_5060Amber, for the most part, has stayed in the run.  But she does not like it when the others get out.

IMG_5038Here is some of Prudence’s handiwork.  I have repaired the holes as best I can but they just make new ones.  I need to replace the fence, but the ground is still too frozen.

So when they are in the big run (and this is only when I am home) I am in the habit of checking on them frequently.  If they are out, I can put them back and close whatever gap they have made.  It is not a good system, but I hate to keep them in the little run on the mild days.

Yesterday changed all that.  I checked on them and found them (well not Amber) out and about exploring the compost area.  I put them back in and repaired the hole only to find them out again!  I returned them to the run and fixed the new hole.  I almost put them in the little run at that point, but it was a nice day so I let them stay out.  I checked on them a third time and saw this.

IMG_5070Forgive the picture but it was taken from inside and the window reflected the shed behind me.  I was not quick enough to get it, but there was another bear who had just gone behind the coop.  Luckily, the girls were still in the run and not out exploring.   They were huddled together being very quiet.  I held my breath and eventually the bear wandered off…

I do not know if bears eat hens…but it is early Spring and they are hungry and there isn’t much for them to eat yet.  They aren’t even usually up this early, but as I said, it has been a mild winter.  I do not want to think what might have happened if the bear had decided to have a go at my girls.  The big run is definitely not bear proof.  Worse is to think about Prudence and Beatrix, trapped outside (because while they have figured out how to get out, they have not figured out how to get back in) when the bears came through the yard.  Scary.

Today was an even nicer day then yesterday but the girls stayed in the little run.  I am afraid the party is over.  I can’t risk them escaping with bears about.

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Sorry girls!

 

 

 

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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5 Responses to Sorry Girls, The Party is Over

  1. Pam R says:

    Yes, on a mild winter like this, the bears will definitely be out and about. I took down the suet feeders already. Bears don’t usually bother chickens, but just coming out of hibernation, they might be really hungry. Though there is quite a bit of food available, due to the mild weather. The ground is not frozen. I’ve been expecting to see the momma and her cubs here any time now.

  2. Up in our neck of the woods, in the Rocky Mountains, bears definitely will eat chickens. They regularly break into coops around here to get chickens. So glad yours were safe.

  3. wspines says:

    Wow, that bear looked huge. Glad the girls are safe

  4. Michele spencer says:

    Poor girls to loose their play time when it is so nice out, but I agree it is better to keep them safe from their own mischief. Too bad they figured out how to escape. Whoever said chickens aren’t smart was clearly no so himself!

  5. Danusia says:

    Wow! Bears already – thanks for the reminder to bring the suet and birdseed in. Glad your girls are ok 🙂

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