Friday, January 05, 2007

Wild chickens

Before we moved in, we discussed possibilities for the garden. A vegetable patch is a must, since there’s so much room, and I also quite fancied the idea of having some chickens. Who could resist the sight of some pretty hens strutting around the garden, looking rustic, charming and producing fresh eggs? What fun!

But then the Pheasants arrived. These are our wild, long-tailed chicken substitutes. Having invited themselves in from the surrounding fields, they now visit a couple of times per day to potter around on the ground below the feeders, hoovering up spilled seed.

They perch precariously on the garden fence to start with, before plopping down onto the lawn in a rather ungainly fashion, where they get to work. Four females together is the norm, and a splendid male puts in an appearance every so often.

Though it’s good that they’re picking up stuff that falls on the floor, the scratching of their feet and the pecking of their sharp beaks isn’t really doing the grass any good.

We won’t have to worry about mowing the lawn from spring, because if the Pheasants keep going at the rate they are, there will only be moss left by then.

But they’re characterful and comical, so they can stay. Just hope that we aren’t overrun with Pheasant poults later on.