I am so glad we started the free range experiment, because I have learned that being with all those animals, doing what they do, is very relaxing and amusing and just plain good for the soul. I used to indulge in “chicken tv” through their fence, but it’s so much nicer when the characters come right up close and peck your toe or try to steal your snack or kick a bunch of wood chips and dirt onto you. So this afternoon, after a grandma brought her three granddaughters (9, 12 and 16) over to see me open a beehive, I opened the old lawn chair and sat reading a book, making notes, drinking tea and keeping the hens company (a necessity when they’re free ranging, because of dogs, cats and wild animals).
The hens love to scratch in the wood chips. I watched them for a while and it is teeming with worms and bugs and larvae. A true, living food pantry! They also like to munch on the buckwheat on the small Hugelkultur. A friend asked me who I have buried in there. If the chickens have their way, we’ll soon know!