But when I do, it's because they're eating my garden. I felt badly for them today, because their pasture is getting a bit bare. So, since I was cleaning the hen house and had all the windows open any way (you can see the wheelbarrow under the window in the pic, we clean by shoveling out the window) I thought I'd open the pasture gate and let them out to play. That garden is planted in rye as a cover crop. That's the lovely bright green. It was tilled in the fall--the soil is nice and loose. The compost bins are overflowing. But what do those stinker hens do? Run straight for the kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts, the only crops left in the garden. The pic's a wide shot to show you just HOW MUCH SPACE they had to play in--and where they chose to congregate. Here's my garden watchdog. She's two, LOVES kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts, and was really mad at those chickens. I think she chased them away for half an hour before she got bored.