If you were expect­ing a savory fall poul­try recipe from read­ing this post title, you’ll be dis­ap­pointed! You can’t eat these chick­ens because they’re pets. And you can’t eat this sage, because it’s orna­men­tal. (Okay, the flow­ers of the stun­ning salvia ele­gans—pineap­ple sageare edi­ble.)

As I was giv­ing the chick­ens fresh water this morn­ing they were kick­ing up such a fuss about the fact that they didn’t get their after­noon walk­a­bout yes­ter­day that I opened the gate so they could have extra time wan­der­ing the yard and gar­dens. Fall is one of their favorite times of year, I think, because there is such adven­ture search­ing for bugs under every fallen leaf. I am also less prone to shoo them away from areas of the gar­den that I don’t want them scratch­ing in since the gar­den is largely dev­as­tated by fall already. What harm is a lit­tle bit of chicken for­ag­ing going to do?

The chick­ens did seem to tire of their bug hunt­ing adven­tures early though because I caught them con­gre­gat­ing near one of the bird baths for a mid-day snooze. As you can see though, T. Boone Chick­ens is still guard­ing his girls.

He’ll have some help with the guard duty soon though. As it turns out, my instincts on the gen­der of Edith’s baby were cor­rect. Baby is a rooster and is now learn­ing to crow. He is now called Ricky since he is clearly not a Lucy.

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Click on the photo to embiggen all the deer and chick­ens together.

Oh give me a home
Where the Papil­lons roam
And the deer and the chick­ens do play…
Where never was heard
A four-letter word
Though I watch them eat plants all day.

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Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


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