In any group, there is always one who has to be a bit different; someone who wants to shun the rules, do their own thing and generally cause trouble.
These individuals are often referred to as mavericks or rebels, but when it comes to chickens, I think a more appropriate label would be pain in the bloody arse.
Unfortunately it seems I own such a chicken.
Instead of utilising the beautifully crafted, ergonomically designed, warm and expensive nest box provided, the bird in question opts for a random corner of the greenhouse; a corner in which there is a heap of drying kindling that I have to rearrange every time I want to locate an egg.
The large, worm riddled, currently vacant veg patch is left untouched and instead the bottom of the rose bush is the target of beak, claw and pent up poultry frustration. Consequently it now looks as though a small bomb has exploded in my back garden.
As the sun goes down and I go to shut the birds in their house, safe and sound for the night, the maverick identifies this as the ideal time to pop outside and – with a quick squawk of contempt- will wander happily off into a hedge, out of arms reach.
Is this chicken mocking me? Probably.
Do I care? Only sometimes.
I may have to do a little extra work to repair the garden, waste a few minutes ranting over woodpiles and occasionally contemplate the delights of chicken casserole but it all comes back to my previous post; free range chooks can be a nuisance.
When I’ve calmed down and think rationally, I know that I am much happier with my birds having the freedom to potter around and do what they want, rather than them being cooped up in a small run causing no trouble at all. So, for the mean time, this chook can continue along on its merry little unconventional way, sticking a metaphorical middle claw to ‘the system’ and I’ll just shake my head and persevere.