How hard is it to catch a chicken with your bare hands? Pretty hard, it turns out.
Gertrude/Chika slipped out of the chicken run this afternoon when Greg opened the door to throw in a handful of greens. Gracie the schnauzer, who was wandering around the yard, immediately gave chase. We've always wondered what would happen if there was no chicken wire between Gracie and the birds, but now was not the time to find out. I made a heroic, diving leap to grab the dog before she caught up with the bantie, scratching up my knee.
After tying Gracie up, Greg and I gave chase. Gertrude weaved in and out of the laurels, through the raspberries and over the raised beds. She darted in and out of difficult areas. I despaired of ever laying hands on her, and yet she clearly wanted to go back home, because she kept circling around to the pen. Eventually, we got her lined up near the door to the coop, Greg opened the door, I flushed her in, and all was well.
If our yard was enclosed, we could probably let the chickens out to roam. But it's not, and every so often a big dog -- liked the mixed breed next door -- rushes into the yard, leaping back and forth in front of the pen and scaring the chickens half to death. If they were out wandering around, they'd be dog food.