My friends will tell you that I am far from normal, and have always done things different. However, when I found myself stood in the orchard the other day whistling for four little chickens called the Famous Four, I knew I had reached a whole new level of crazy!
We have had several batches of chicks over the months, however, the first ones that survived have always been close to our hearts. We have watched them grow from tiny chicks, to small chickens and when they began to try to fly out of the maternity wing, I knew it was time to release them back into the main orchard.
Now like any mother, this was a daunting time, these four looked so small alongside the larger chickens, and my biggest fear was that they didn't roost in the trees like the other birds. Sleeping on the floor in the orchard is a dangerous business, and I didn't want to lose the Famous Four to some wild animal in the night.
The first day we let them out, I watched as they ran out and observed their new playground, and like any small child, they very quickly ran behind me as the large roosters approached. After a few minutes, and some encouraging words they slowly made their way into the big world...
As night time approached I went to the orchard to find them huddled next to the maternity wing door, wanting to go back to the comfort of their cosy box. As I opened the door they ran in and never looked back, this was going to be harder than I thought. This pattern continued for several days where they would leave to explore but every night return to the comfort of the 5 star maternity wing.
After a week the famous four began to get braver, and would venture further and further back into the orchard, so much so, that one day when I went down, they were no where to be seen. I began to panic, had they got out, had they been taken, so, there I stood whistling and calling like a mad woman for four small chickens!
My doubting children stood in the orchard asking what on earth I was doing, and how on earth would chickens come by whistling, but they had forgotten I was the chicken whisperer! (I use this title when it suits me) My mad behaviour paid off, and from behind the trees emerged the famous four looking very pleased with themselves.
That night they didn't wait to be let into the maternity wing, and I thought they had finally grown up and learnt to roost, however, when I went down to check on them, they were quite happily tucked up with the pig in her straw! oh well, they were happy, and what better protector than a 20kg pig in a big pile of mud!