The chooks have been in my bad books these last few days. It's not entirely their fault. In fact it's not really their fault at all - they were just doing what comes naturally. They saw lovely fresh, green seedlings in the new veggie beds that used to be theirs to roam about all over freely. And I'd rather foolishly and lazily draped a temporary bit of wire between the shed and the trampoline. And the gaps in the wire were way too big. I did know this, but they're not usually very adventurous and there's so much grass for them to get through on their own side of the fence (check out the pic below) that I didn't think they'd bother. But the gaps were rather big. Big enough for a silkie chicken to simply step through.
So that's what they did on Friday morning.
And now every single one of my silverbeet seedlings and three quarters of my brassicas seedlings are gone. Completely. Luckily I caught them before they munched the last few broccoli bits and luckily the garlic has not yet sprouted. But now I have to start all over. I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that there are still quite a few white cabbage moths about and waiting a bit longer before seedlings go in is probably a good idea. I'd attempted Hazel's idea of draping a netting over the brassicas but didn't have a veil or curtain big enough. So they would probably have been eaten by caterpillars if not naughty chooks anyway.