Amber’s currently having problems dealing with the chickens – in both senses of “dealing with”.
First, they’re now pretty tame, so no longer respect our authority. And that goes double if you’re less than four feet tall, i.e., if you’re Amber.
She’ll stand outside for ages waving at them, shouting at them, poking them, nudging them with her feet, and they never do what she wants. This isn’t usually a problem because they still respond to the rest of the family – those of us with louder voices, pokier fingers and bigger feet; not to mention, a willingness to pick ’em up and throw the buggers back in if all else fails.
No, a bigger problem are Amber’s panic attacks if the chickens might be in danger, e.g. by ever being out of the coop.
I’m not kidding: she’ll be in floods of tears if she thinks there’s the slightest chance of a fox attack, wandering the garden in the rain and refusing point-blank to come back indoors.
It’s quite sweet, but after our previous chickens were killed by a fox this lot don’t get any unsupervised time out of the coop. There’s always someone keeping an eye out if the coop is open.
But Queen Cool the chicken is often seized by the need to jump over the fence and explore the wider garden, at which point Amber rushes out to get her back over the fence.
Which, as I’ve explained, she can’t do.
She will not accept that the chickens are safe. We’ve had tantrums and hitting and all kinds from her, trying to get back into the garden to put the chickens away.
It’s a sorry little sight, watching her traipse round the garden in the rain, sobbing, desperately trying to herd the chickens.