I had to go away for one night last weekend and I had been agonising over what I was going to do with the chickens.
The big chickens live in the big coop that has a h0use and a run. The teenage chicks live in a slightly smaller coop that also has a house and run. Each night just on sunset, they all put themselves to bed in their respective coops. After they are safely tucked into bed, I go out and close the run doors so nothing can get in and get the chickens while they are sleeping.
I have no idea what I think here in New Zealand is actually going to get into my chicken coops and hurt my chickens but nevertheless, I like to shut the coops up at night. The only real night time predator living in New Zealand that would attack a chicken is probably a weasel or a stoat and I don’t think there are many of them around. I guess a stray and very hungry feral cat may harm the chickens at night.
But because I was going away for only one night. I decided to take my chicken friend’s advice and leave the coop doors open while I was away.
I felt bad leaving my chickens in such a vulnerable situation but I felt I had no choice and I was willing to take the risk.
So as we drove up the driveway at the end of the two days, I eagerly peered over towards the coop. All looked normal. Then I quickly got out of the car (barely waiting for it to come to a stop) and went out to find (and count) the chickens and chicks. Three chickens (Hannah, Helen and Hilda) and five chicks (Harry, Howie, Hedvig, Harriet and Hazel) all accounted for and happy to see me.