Monday, May 19, 2008

Gladys the Rescue Chicken

So Gladys came to us via neighbors who passed on the information that we had a coop in the backyard. She's full grown, and pretty old. We know because her eggs are funky and misshapen. When she got here my girls flipped out. Several times she was cornered and pecked at quite brutally. Chickens can be mean. I didn't really know what to do and I started worrying that she may need to be rescued from my yard. I got on line and found all kinds of bizarre information on how to manage your flock. Based on several different approaches I developed my own...the one that fit our time schedule and kept the chickens outside. What I did was take a chair into the coop and sing. No, I can't sing. But the chickens don't know that and they seem to like my voice when I holler "hey girls, Mommy's got some goodies for ya" singing's just longer. So I went through all the nursery rhymes I knew, then started in on some Johnny Cash. Meanwhile I'm keeping an eye on Tammy Faye, who is the leader...or top of the pecking order. Every time she takes a peck at Gladys, I peck at her with my finger. It didn't take long for everyone to figure out what was going on. Gladys started hanging around at my feet and eventually got comfy enough that she just hopped on my lap, and then on my shoulder. Tammy's feelings were hurt...she still won't come to me like she used to, well...unless I have
hops n' grain from our brewing. (No one can resist that yeasty smell.) I figured that my job was done...in under an hour. So, I went inside...but checked the clock and made a mental note to head back out and check on the girls in half an hour. When I went back outside they had Gladys cornered again. I pecked at 'em all and gave 'em a serious talking to. I can't repeat what I said, but it wasn't pretty. I got my chair and commenced singing...again. Roger Miller, Old 97's all the songs I knew the words to then I remembered Alouetta...the French song about de-pluming a bird. I was giggling through it as I cooed and petted my girls trying to get them to all be friends. It sounds a bit silly, or sick I know but I was damn bored after several hours of in and out and singing...yes, several hours. I don't know how singers do it...my throat was killing me, lousey audience, no tips...terrible job. The process took nearly 4 days! It wasn't all day...but it was everyday. So much for my "own" method. We just have a few girls and a tiny space (8ft x8ft) but that's enough. 4 chickens, 4 people...not everyone lays each day...right now Esperanza is brooding so we'll only get 3 eggs a day for about a month or so, but that's enough. The funny thing is that now when I sing Aloutta, the girls come running! Makes me feel like a deranged Chicken Whisperer.

1 comment:

Eugene said...

Wow Cheryl, i had no idea how much personality these guys have!