When I saw Miko walking up our street this evening I waved and said hi. She smiled and told me that Suzanne had asked her to pen the hens up. She finished the sentence with one of her signature giggles. Miko has a fun disposition. I asked if she would like a hand with the chickens, and she said yes.
She explained that we probably just needed to get one hen, Piper, from the place where it nests and put her with the others. We found the stray hen where we expected her to be; all seemed to be going to plan.
As we approached the coup, Miko suggested I hold Piper while she got some food. When she returned I placed the hen in the coup, and Miko scattered some feed.
The other hens immediately started appearing in single file through a hole in the floor as if going upstairs to bed. Everything was going like clockwork, and all five hens were accounted for.
I’m not sure what happened next — it all happened so fast — suddenly there were more hens out than in. Two hens were in the adjoining enclosure, and two had escaped through the open door and were ‘at large.’
Miko and I spent the next 10 minutes coaxing and cajoling the two escaped hens back towards the coup. Miko stood near the coup while I rounded up the hens. Each time we got them close, one would slip past me, closely followed by the other. On the fourth attempt we got them both to go into the coup.
But there was still one hen not in the coup. Piper was trying to escape from the adjacent enclosure (as she always does). Miko decided to wait until Piper reached the top of the fence — knowing the hen would perch before descending on the other side. When Piper perched, Miko reached up and picked her off the fence.
It was a very clever and well executed strategy. Within a few seconds we had Piper penned up with the other hens. I secured the lock, and Miko and I did a high-five. As we walked down the steps to the road we had a good laugh about our escapades. We wished each other a pleasant evening and parted happy.
I realized shortly thereafter that I was in a much better frame of mind than I had been earlier in the evening. Before Miko appeared I had been very irritable (this had not gone unnoticed by Dan). Hanging out with Miko put me in a much better mood. Interestingly, Dan knew this would be the case. When I texted him earlier to say that I was going to help Miko with the hens he replied “Oh good. That will help. I love you. Say hi to Miko.”
live. enjoy. repeat.