Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Chickens don't forget

I've somehow managed to get into the daily habit of bringing Tilda into the kitchen for a little smackerel.  I didn't mean for this to become a habit but, in the chicken world, things they approve of become ingrained as habits after just one occurrence, whilst things they disapprove of never reach that status.

I remember that Tildy was looking a little glum.  At the time, I wasn't convinced she was using the feeders properly, and I'd been out every day putting her on the treadle so she could eat.   It was only much later that I caught her on camera using the treadle quite happily.

So, I had started bringing her into the kitchen for 5 mins to eat a handful of the Garvo that needed using up and would otherwise have been binned. Probably.

Before I knew what was happening, it was an every day occurence.  

In a vain attempt to break the habit, I tried varying the times.   It didn't work.  Tildy would wait patiently by the door of the run.

A few times I waited until afternoon, and then I'd find that Tildy would move out of the run, walk down the garden, and wait by the netting round the pampas grass.

We're getting to the end of the bag of Garvo now.  She doesn't eat the pellety bits anyway.   I don't want to be ordering another blooming bag of it. [I do realise the only way is to just stop it. I am not stupid, just soft]

She didn't get any the day we went to London. We left too early and came back too late.   Yesterday, one week after the London trip, we were going to visit DGS3. So, I didn't bring her in in the morning. I shut them away when we went out.  We got back at 3.30, and I made the cold-weather-porridge for them.

When I walked into the run with the bowls of hot porridge, Tilda hopped out and started walking down the garden path to the house.  I called her, but she ignored me.

I put the bowls of chicken porridge round the run for the others, and walked back to the house. When I got there, Tilda was inside, tucking in.

I was a bit surprised.  It was 3.30, porridge time... and she had decided that coming in to the kitchen to eat a few bits of Garvo was her preferred option.

It crossed my mind that she was considering moving back into the kitchen for the winter. It is almost a year since she collapsed in the garden and came to live inside. 3rd December, I believe, is the Henniversary.

Later - when she was safely returned to the run - I casually wondered out loud whether Tilda might want to move back for the winter.  DH said nothing.   

Saying nothing said everything.

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