Friday, January 17, 2014

It is my Purpose in Life to Amuse

Because I can find no other reason for my recent antics in the barnyard the night before last.

The RIR chickens are still being stubborn and refuse to roost with the other chickens in the coop.  You know, the one with the light on when it gets dark.  The one with fresh bedding.  The one with nice fluffy hay in the nesting boxes.  The one that will prevent them from becoming a nocturnal carnivore's midnight snackie.

It still absolutely amazes me that none of them have been eaten by now.  There have been plenty of opportunities for nighttime critters to take advantage of my forgetting to close the coop door as well as the daytime marauders that have often plagued the chicken yard.  I started with twenty and there are still twenty.  Want to know how I know?  Because I've been having to carry each and every one of the buggers to the coop each and every night.  And each night it becomes more and more difficult of a task.  They are on to me.

They've been huddling together in the corner of the barn (opposite of where they are supposed to be roosting) and up until recently I've been able to grab me an armful of squawking, flapping poultry and make my way over to the coop side with at least three chickens per trip.

There's been a full or nearly full moon for the past few nights.  Bright enough that one does not really need a flashlight to see one's way around the barnyard.  And apparently chickens have better night vision than I had previously thought because they have been scattering when I come up to the barn.  Once they leave the barn, I can no longer corner them and it's pretty much a chicken free for all outside.  They run under the barn, run under the goats, run into the goat huts, run back under the barn, run every stinking place but into the gawdforsaken well-lit coop.

After ten plus minutes of chasing the damn birds and swearing into the crisp night sky, it finally dawned on me that I could be using a net to expedite my chicken roundup.  There was a fishing dip net hanging in the barn (probably from some other long forgotten chicken catching foray) so I grabbed it and started chasing them with that.  Just as I thought I captured one in the net, the bugger ran away.  I'd manage to catch another one, and it would somehow get out.  I tried to "scoop" them into the net.  I slammed the net down on top of them.  I even tried some lacrosse techniques. I think to myself, what the hell is wrong with this thing?!  More swearing.

After the fifth chicken "popped" out of the net, I finally examined the net and found that there was a hole in it.
But of course by this time, what chickens I hadn't managed to bludgeon into unconsciousness and toss into the coop were pretty much hunkered down under the steps of the barn and there was no way they were coming out.

"Fine!" I yelled at them. "Go ahead and get eaten you freaking morons!" and I started stomping my way back to the house.  "But don't come crying to me when a raccoon is chowing down on your intestines while you're still alive.....that'll teach you a lesson!"

Except the only one that would be taught a lesson would be me.  Because I would curse myself up and down if I were to let any of them get eaten.  I've haven't been taking care of those buggers for the last four plus months only to have them become the equivalent of a late night drunk White Castle run for a couple of opossums.

So after a while I put my muck boots back on, went outside and managed to get the rest of them into the coop.  And now I have to modify my plan of attack for tomorrow night's round up.


  1. You sure do make me laugh...oh, wait, that's your purpose in life!! :)
    I can just see you chasing chickens with the fishing net with a hole in it!

  2. I'm kinda glad your purpose in life is to amuse. Sure adds a smile to most of my days! (I sincerely doubt there are very many of us who have kept poultry who have not, for some period of time or another, gone through exactly what you are currently doing to keep our dumb clucks from becoming food for critters other than us Glad you have the talent for sharing the escapades in such an amusing manner!)

  3. Once again you have reminded me why I don't have chickens. The most stupid birds on earth.

  4. I bet they huddle every evening in the barn to discuss how their diabolical train-a-human plot is proceeding, amping up the game each time. Hmmm, wonder who put the hole in the net and hung it just so's you'd see it....? They're chuckling, not clucking!

  5. Haha. How many nights have I done the same thing? (Minus the net though. That was good idea, in principle.) I've decided that the only really good solution here is to lock the buggers into their coop for a week or two without even a peek at the outside world. Then when you do let them out, they should be well and truly imprinted on the coop. And, the upside to their time in jail of course, is that you get a bit of a holiday from even worrying about whether it's getting dark, never mind the chasing part.

  6. Oh my gosh this is so close to home ...I have laughed until my stomach hurts! Chasing chickens around until they no longer have feathers and I am out of patience screaming louder than they can.....oh and the fishing net I howled at that as I can relate...found an old net and did not realize the huge hole in the side of much for tunnel vision.....they did eventually come around to my way of thinkin! Thank you for the funny vision in my head I do hope you get them trained soon!

  7. How often we threaten to leave them to the predators and then can't. I can relate totally to this post. The only thing I am grateful for is the 7 foot wooden privacy fence that protects me from the mocking view of my neighbors...

  8. There is nothing like "chicken fishin"!!!!! I've been there many of times myself. Hopefully those little buggers will figure it out. But then again, it wouldn't be that funny then.........

  9. I've used treats as a way to lure them in. Since I only have a fenced area and the coop, they usually tuck themselves in, or I heard them with a rake!

  10. You are too funny! A fishing net? Really? And with a hole in it? LOL!!
    I use to have two RIR's that would not stay in the Chicken yard. No matter what I did to keep then in, they would get out. My Dog IZZY used them as chew toys and that was that.

  11. The treats might work. DH says ours go bonkers after bread scraps! He uses that to round up critters when needed. Of course, I am now down to just 5 so it doesn't take much rounding up!