free range time

Each afternoon, we give our chickens a chance to free range.

They get about 90 minutes of freedom, before dark.

That’s enough time for them to eat a few bugs and enjoy themselves, but not so much that they become a nuisance to the neighbors or become a target for hawks or big, loose dogs.

They love it.

And I love it.

It always makes me laugh.

First, they run for the hydrangea bush beside our back door. We throw vegetable scraps into the bush and, when they get loose, they race to see what treast await them.

After about five minutes there, they suddenly — all at once — get the idea to run and fly across the yard and into my neighbor’s yard. He sometimes leaves them a treat.

It’s hilarious — and what makes it funny is the way they take off, so fast and in a pack, running to get to where they want to go. Once there, they either get the treat or hunt and peck for bugs.

Today, they somehow had a sense that my neighbor was out of town. Instead they raced around to the front yard and spent time there.

This video shows first twenty seconds of their freedom, just after I open the door of the henhouse.

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