These days once everyone is off to school and work I am left in the company of one fuzzy dog and four lovely ladies. The dog has been around for over 12 years now and we have worked out a way to spend our quiet days together but the hens, they are another story. The hens have turned out to be much more social than I expected. The kids let them out of their coop by 7am and then once everyone is off to school I let them out into the yard. They scratch, peck and and generally have a great time but if they see me in the kitchen which is 6 steps up from the yard they head up the stairs all together and stand at the sliding glass door looking in. They will preen themselves for a bit, puff up their feathers and lie right down. One or two tuck their heads back into their feathers and go to sleep while the others just keep an eye on me. If I leave the kitchen for more than 5-10 minutes they will go back down into the yard (although one of them is afraid to go down on her own and will make a little noise until I give her a little help). And then when the hens are all down in the yard and I open the glass door to head outside they all come running at full speed. Have you ever seen a chicken run? So funny and so endearing. But as cute and sweet and as funny as they are, they are eating everything and they leave their droppings everywhere. So we are now in the process of building a multi-paneled moveable fence (pictured above). The fence will allow the chickens to free range outside of their run but will keep them out of the garden and off the sidewalk and back deck. The kids spend lots of time running around out back so we need to draw the line between living space and livestock space or think about buying a farm....hmmm.