welcome to the peep show

We’re in month two of living on the farm and I can honestly say, it’s nothing if not interesting. There is rarely a dull moment around here.

Take today, for example.

Now that we’ve had our three grown hens for two plus weeks, it’s time to ease them into roaming the yard, outside of their pen. We were cautioned to do this gradually. The hens should be released just before sunset, for just a few minutes, then coaxed back to their coop with bread. Easy, right?

Not if you decide on day two of the process that you’re going to let them loose at the dinner hour (several hours before sundown) and let them wander around for an hour, filling their bellies with worms and other delicacies so bread is of little consequence to them. Yeah…this was a recipe for disaster.

For my part, I warned the husband this would happen. I warned him over and over again the entire time the chickens were wandering the yard.

“The man at the chicken store said we’re supposed to wait til just before dusk.”

“He said they’re only supposed to be out for a few minutes at a time.”

“They don’t want the bread. They don’t want to come back to the coop either. You should have listened to the guy at the chicken store.”

“What do you mean, we’ll just catch them? Have you ever tried to catch a chicken? Didn’t you see Rocky 2? Or was it 3? I don’t remember which one it was, but Mickey had Rocky chasing chickens as a training exercise, and it took him most of the movie to catch one. And, um…you’re not in as good a shape as Rocky.”

“I’m not going to dive for a chicken…and they’re too fast for you. You really should have listened to the man at the chicken store.”

This is when the neighbor’s puppies showed up in our yard. They’re only a few months old, and very sweet, but they really like chasing chickens. And while I was busy helping my husband herd three wayward hens back into their coop, the puppies were trying to break into the peep pen (the baby chicks must be far more interesting than the grown ones wandering the yard.)

It was as if I was on an episode of Punk’d.

There were chickens running everywhere. Puppies leaping and bouncing every which way. My husband carrying a giant red rake waving his arms like a crazy person. And me, rationalizing with chickens.

“Come on, chickies…come back to your nice house.”

“Oh, chickies…chick chick chickies…I have bread…you love bread.”

One by one, my husband cornered the chickens, capturing them to put each one into the coop.  It was a harrowing ordeal. And once all the chickens were back in their pens, I discovered my Runaway Joey was missing. The dog that can’t seem to stay in the yard had apparently wandered off again.

I hopped into the car, still covered in stray feathers and bread crumbs, and drove through the backroads for twenty or thirty minutes before my husband called me back home.

Crisis averted. The dog was in the house the whole time.

And after that work out, I deserve a drink! That’s right…one frostly cold mango wine cooler coming right up! If only I could twist off the lid.

Maybe I’ll just go to bed instead. I’m kinda tired.

Until the next time…I’ll be unpacking the bottle opener!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on May 1, 2012 .