These chicks are going to kill me, I swear.
I took Billie out mid-morning today for a pee-pee, and I looked up, as I do, toward the run to check on 2.0. Twice already this morning, I had found Jezebel outside the MacGyver Terrace, and had just the best time getting her back in. There was no obvious point of exit; I assumed she’d gone over. There’s not much I can do about that except scrap the whole idea.
As I looked up, I noticed something strange. The thing that was strange is that there was one chick. ONE.
Surely, they must be hiding behind something inside the run, right? Or, possibly, they managed to overturn the board that blocks the pop door, and were inside the coop. Right? RIGHT??!!
Not in the run. Not in the coop. Ruh roh.
I looked outside the run, outside the terrace, around the back of the barn, but there was only…Dorothy. Ironically, she was the only one home. There’s no place like it.
My mind raced. Had they been captured by predators, all five of them? Without any trace of feathers or disturbance?
It seems completely unlikely now, of course, hindsight being 20/20, but at the time, my stomach sank and my heart raced. The Man was going to be pissed. Well, not pissed, exactly, but he would get all thin lipped and exhale heavily with resignation. This transgression might even merit an eyeroll.
I was imagining what would happen to poor Dorothy, alone of her generation, when I walked around to the front of the barn to find…the missing five. Just chillin’. Eating grass. Milling around the found crate. Drinking out of 1.0’s water dish. Like it was nothing.
They were all…what up, mom? I tried to corral them back into the front doors of the barn, the closest path to safety, but I had Billie on the leash and five slippery chicks, eager to retain their freedom, scattered at my attempt.
Sigh. With Billie back in the house, I was able to corral them, not through the barn (they flatly refused to go through the doors), but around the side of the barn and back through the terrace into the run. With the door closed. Dorothy was hysterical with relief.
Clearly, The MacGyver Terrace was deeply, irrevocably flawed, and needed serious rethinking. Here is The New and Improved MacGyver Terrace:
Now with more jungle!
That corner of the barn is a repository for junk: old furniture, expired appliances, outgrown children’s toys. It’s the Corner of Shame, which is why I’ve never shown it in pics before. It could have been cleared out in early spring, but, having missed that window of opportunity, a jungle grew up to conceal it, rendering the junk both invisible, and unreachable.
So, The New and Improved MacGyver Terrace now encompasses Junk Jungle: fascinating for chicks; frustrating for aerial predators. It’s win/win…until I need to get them out of there some day soon.
After running errands, I still have six chicks, so, either Terrace security is much improved, or the Jungle is sufficiently engaging so as to encourage compliance. Either way works for me.
Because…I don’t think my heart can take that again.