We had a plan. It was a solid plan. The two new chickens (Thelma and Louise) were ready for their next step in flock integration. In where they can interact with – but not actually get to our other chickens.
- We would take the temporary run in which they’ve been acclimatising down – it’s made with roughly 4×6 panels (of ABS pipe with chicken wire zip-tied to it… we’re fancy here). We’d move the panels into the main run.
- We’d also move Thelma and Louise’s little portable coop into the main run, inside the newly erected fence panels.
- Thelma and Louise, being more tractable than our older chickens would be allowed to roam free while this happened and then we’d catch them and pop them in their kind of sub-run.
- We’d move their water and food in with them too.
And it went flawlessly, until as we carried their water in it became apparent that while the easy-to-catch Thelma and Louise were now safely ensconced in their sub-run, Astrid and Pippi were enjoying the excitement of the garden having found an escape route through a previously unknown hole in the fence.
Astrid and Pippi are not tractable chickens. They do not crouch to be picked up. They sprint rapidly around the garden.
Apparently the average top speed of a human is 8 miles per hour. A chicken? About 9 miles per hour.
We did eventually herd Astrid back in, and Pippi – I caught her but with my arms wrapped around a shrub, which meant that Kathryn had to come and grab her from me in a careful chicken hand-off.