Thursday 27 July 2023

From Enabler to Problem Solver

 If you haven't already read my post about Houdini chicken, you may want to go back and do that, in order for this to make sense.

So... the top of the chicken run is now completely secure, no gaps, no parts that need a piece of chicken wire patched in, seams sown together with thin wire. Done. All done.

Yes, for two days, I enabled my insane chicken. I was outside at the time that she was pacing back and forth inside the run, looking for a method of escape (or maybe I planned to be there at that time?). And yes, I opened the gate for her and she left to go in her perennial bed to lay her little egg. On the second day, she heard me approach the coop when she was done and she emerged from the perennial bed and waited at the gate for me to open it, like a cat or a dog ready to be let in. 

I recognize that this is insane behaviour on my part. I recognize that I will most certainly have become a slave to an approximately 8 pound animal. I became an enabler. And I know all about enablers! So, here are the further lengths that I went to. I dug up some daylilies (because anyone with daylilies knows you can always divide them and still have plenty) and quickly "potted" them in some leftover plastic pots from hanging plants. I put them in the front corner, inside the run (at the end of her pacing lane). Why did I not plant them right in the ground? Because any loose soil is met with absolutely joy by a flock of chickens who continue to scratch it up and excavate yet another dust bath for themselves. 

Today I decided to keep busy and away from the back yard for a few hours (i.e. show some tough love to Houdini and exert a little strength on my part). And here is the result.

Here are the hastily potted day lilies (notice the leaves that have already been "snipped" off by inquisitive beaks).

And, when I had a look, drum roll please...

Ta da!! 

I know, I need better hobbies.

Anyway, here is a picture of the completed run.

What's that atop the gate, you ask?

Well, that would be the official supervisor, master of all domains, pool cat Murphy. He thinks the wooden strapping was put there for him, little pathways so he can walk all over the run and end up on the roof of the coop.

Just so you know I do something other than agonize over poultry, here is a tiny sample of current garden harvest. 

The alien looking things are rutabagas that I planted from seed. I've never grown them before and I was curious about what they are like (I'm well acquainted with turnips from my German heritage mother and Scottish heritage father). They were good, but obviously need a bit more growing time. The beets were lovely. 

I was cleaning up the front perennial bed and felt so sorry for the delphiniums that were beaten down by a couple of rains, so I cut some and then grabbed some other flowers and stuck them in a vase. I am NOT a flower arranger by any means, but I like the colour.

I will leave you with these gorgeous, although somewhat invasive, crocosmia. I think they are Lucifer. The hummingbirds love them and they look so tropical! Have a great day, everyone!


  1. Chickens are smart, or at least your one chicken is smart. She got what she needed. Your flowers are lovely.

  2. Ta-da! Either you trained her or she trained you but a positive result nevertheless. Perennials are definitely the way to go, they keep repaying you year after year.

  3. I think planting those daylilies in pots inside the chicken yard was ingenius! However, you may have to renew them on occasion as the chickens will probably have their way with them.

  4. Perhaps Murphy is assisting in the patrol of the coop. Or maybe he's hoping fresh chicken might be on the menu.
    Well done on fooling Houdini. Hope she keeps it up!
    Your garden bouquet is lovely.

    1. He's never seen the chickens as being prey. He used to go into the run when I had some older chickens last year and just rolled around and tried to rub against them.

  5. Great solution. Your potted day lilies did the trick. Murphy looks like king of the castle atop the chicken run. He is such a sweet unpredictable boy. Your flowers and veg are outstanding.

  6. I thiy Houdini has been working towards getting her own flower garden all along, and she's happy you caught on.

  7. Chickens are too smart, so I don't own them.

  8. What a story. Glad you got the best of Houdini. Or so it seems lol

  9. Fabulous colours in those flowers. Tigger wishes he had some chickens to supervise. Murphy looks very comfortable in his role as overseer of chickens.

  10. Brilliant solution for Houdini's need for privacy. I wonder if you planted the daylilies outside of the coop would they, the daylilies, eventually clump up enough to provide enough of a leaf curtain for her needs? Murphy does look like he's applied for the job & gotten as hawk deterrent (col). Beautiful flowers both in the vase & in the garden. ... Mary-Lou =^..^=

  11. Loved that update on H. chicken. Beautiful veg and flowers. Buds are visible on my Crocosmia, but not blooming yet. Love that Murph!

  12. Well done for solving the egg laying problem. We also have day lilies and red crocosmia. They give so much colour at this time of year. We are also getting loads of produce from our allotment. Here we have lots of rain at the moment which is making everything grow like crazy. I would like to see the sun return though, sigh!

  13. Thanks for the entertaining post, so enjoyable. Handy way to accommodate your picky chickie. The flowers! The garden bounty looks wonderful too, especially the beets.

  14. I absolutely love your chicken wrangling story! Laughed out loud at that egg. Goodness, you are creative. The flowers are just beautiful. I am trying with crocosmia, but it isn't doing so well for me, certainly not invasive at this point. I really like it and will plant more, in a different garden I tbink.

  15. I am chicken sitting 8 young hens this weekend and feel your issues.

  16. At least now you won't have to let Houdini chicken in and out. I think your idea was marvelous.

    Beautiful flowers.

    God bless.

  17. Looks like everyone wins with the new chicken run and roof -- and lilies! Even Murphy! Love this post and you for doing this!