I feel like I have done something horrible. Today I clipped the wings of my 4 chooky girls. They are free-range in daylight hours and spend the whole day eating grass and digging for grubs and slaters. I think they have a good life.
But today I decided to limit their freedom somewhat. I decided to do the 'operation' because, despite the fact that the fence to my veggie patch - Fortress Wallaby - is high enough to keep the bounding, browsing wallaby population away from my veggies, it isn't high enough to exclude chookies.
I had resigned myself to losing produce in my inadequately fenced temporary beds to the probing beaks of my chookies (I reckon I have lost a cabbage, 4 Purple caulis and a Romanesco Broccoli so far), but not prepared to lose produce from the permanent beds in Fortress Wallaby, so, I umm'ed and ahh'ed and today I did the deed.
I took instructions from a new Organic Gardener mag on chookies, the Lad held the girlies one by one and I did the sniping.
It didn't seem right to take photos of the procedure.
They didn't seemed bothered at all really, aside from the indignity of being held by a human! I guess they might seem bothered when they try to fly.
I apologised to them all (just like I thank them each individually each day for their cackleberries) but feel like I am a bad chook mother.
As some kind of apologetic act, I picked a wombok and gave them a generous number of outer leaves.
They will get lots of produce from the garden but I guess now it will be when I chose. I still feel like I have done something bad to them.
Have you clipped the wings of your chookies? How did you feel about it?