Chooks are creatures of habit, or at least they can become so given enough time for the idea of routine to sink into their tiny little bird-brains. I tend to feed them when I get back home in the afternoon and some of them have worked out that I keep the feed in the garage, so will mount expeditionary forces to explore the interior and determine the source of the chooky-feed. Chief amongst the more exploratory birds are Henrietta (the largest of the white chooks) and Columbine (the black chook with the red ruff). Columbine has even taken to following me around the garden in hope and expectation, even after she has been fed.
It’s great fun to watch a flock of chooks scratching away for grain together; it calls to something deep in the soul of the smallholder, perhaps it just makes me think of Felicity Kendal in The Good Life way back when I was an impressionable teenager and there was that magic moment in one episode where her dressing gown fell open and all was revealed!
Back to the lawn. Chooks are great scratchers and scrapers and I have discovered that they are very efficient at removing moss from the lawn, of which there is a great abundance. Consequently, where they get their grain of an evening changes to ensure that as much of the grass as possible gets the treatment.
The only other problem with the lawn is that there’s so much of it that mowing it takes well over two hours and is not my favourite task. I can only mow it when the weather is dry, which is relatively rare in Argyll, and on wet, warm evenings you can sit there and watch the b*st*rd grass visibly leap skywards.