Breaking In

We’ve had a couple of break-ins at our place in the past week. Always perpetrated by Bronwyn. She looks totally innocent when caught but she can’t plead innocent, we catch her red-handed inside the vegetable patch.

Bronwyn in the sweet corn

Even if she had managed to break-out after breaking-in (now why would she do that?), all we’d need is a check of her beak against the imprints left on the kohlrabi to find her guilty as charged.

Chicken beak impressions on a kohlrabi leaf

What is a just sentence for a chicken who outwits her owners and finds a weak spot in the fence?

So far her damage has been minor: a few lost leaves, some seedlings uprooted; but it’s only a matter of time before she does something that I won’t just chuckle about. We have a suspicion about the location of her entrance point and we’ve reinforced it, but short of locking the poor beast in her run, I’m not sure how to ensure she never gets in again. Actually, that’s a lie, I know what we’ll do: we’ll obsessively look out the window and run down shouting every time she does another break-in. *Sigh* the fate of a chicken owner with a clever and always-hungry chicken.

Oh No! After posting this I went outside and there was Bronwyn, standing INSIDE the veggie patch. Now what?


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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8 Responses to Breaking In

  1. Every time I look out and can’t see my crooks, I know where they are-my veg patch!, well what was my veg patch! X

    • It’s the innocent look on their faces that drives me crazy. Don’t they know they’ve broken the law? Have they no conscience? Is there any hope of reform? (You don’t have to answer – these are purely rhetorical – I know the answers all too well.)

  2. I do love that Bronwyn! She makes for excellent stories. Thank you.

    • Oh that Bronwyn! I can’t decide how I feel about her. She’s big, fat, mean and smart (remembering she’s a chicken, these terms are all relative to my smaller, sweeter chooks). All qualities that evolution would be proud of but I wouldn’t mind her being a little less successful.

  3. I think she knows she can pretty much get away with anything….

  4. Coop Poop says:

    I love this post and I have a solution. This is what I did with one of my dogs (a border collie mix) who embarked on a digging habit that resulted in rather humongous holes in all the wrong places. I determined the location for allowable digging. It was a win-win situation. The results were near instantaneous. Create a veggie patch for the hens. Need I say more?

    • You have hens, tell me, how much is enough for a hen? I figure Bronwyn could eat 90% of what I plant on a lazy afternoon. My girls never cease to amaze me how much they gobble a day. They are such tiny things with little bitty beaks – but their crop grows and they poop and their crop grows and they poop and then…. an egg. Darling critters.

      BTW, the fence has been reinforced in all accessible areas – about 3 times since this post. Within 1 hour of the last reinforcement yesterday I found Bronwyn happily amongst the corn eating the leaves. *sigh*

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