Tuesday, March 1, 2011

my life has turned into a story about chickens

(Fe and my first chicken, taken in our old house in Sydney a few years ago)

I went to feed the chickens yesterday. Easy. This is how it’s done.

Notice some chickens are in the garden. Say 'chicken!' to Stella (cattle dog), she chases them over the fence, except the dumb one that runs in circles. Quickly chase and grab Pearl (terrier) a placid idiot but known chicken killer. Put Pearl inside. Catch chicken. Put chicken over fence, unchain Grippy (staffy) who's using the kennel as a bum scratcher and whining he's missing out on fun.

Pearl is barking her head off inside, Stella goes nuts that Grippy is freed. Throw your hands up in the air, walk down the path and through the gate. Be accosted by 30 chickens who see the crap bucket in your hand. Wade through the chickens, trying not to kick any. Get to the shed, throw some feed onto the ground for the duck, then into the coop.

Watch the chickens run into the fence before finding the door. Notice the duck sneaking inside. Swear. Chase the remaining chickens inside. Lock the door, go in the big door, try to catch the duck. Crawl on your hands and knees chasing the duck who is quacking madly at you. Open the door, get the duck through. Stand up. Shut the door.

Try to count the chickens. Give up. Walk back to the house, check the vege patch for chicken damage. Swear again. Replant torn seedlings, replace mulch, water everything. Realise you’ve forgotten to collect the eggs. Go back to the chicken coop. Open hen box and see a clucky chicken. At great risk to your fingers, plunge your hand under the chicken and retrieve eggs. Don’t drop them.

Get back to the house. Wash hands. Breathe deeply. Write a ridiculously long account of the whole experience of feeding the chickens. Realise that you are maybe a little starved for human contact while your housemates are away and you're staying in the country alone.

Hope that you don’t seem incredibly strange. A little, ok, but not incredibly.


  1. Wow, I never realised how similiar to chickens, children are! I was thinking I could handle both (in my 'one day' scenario of living in the countryside). Maybe not? I don't know if my (future dreamily gigantic) garden could handle both...

  2. Is there any chance you could post a video of this? ;D Heh heh. You may have changed my mind about chickens too; I was thinking a coop would look good in the back yard, but it sounds like a full time job! That, and the fact that the population would probably just grow and grow since I doubt my boyfriend could stomach seeing a chicken... erm... realize its full potential...

  3. Ahhhh sounds so familar! My parents live on a farm, and we grew up with hoards of chickens! Once, our rooster (who was, sadly for him, named Ginger Megs Shaggy Legs) decided that he was a hen & went clucky. I used to wear my Dads chainsaw gloves just to pick him up & collect the eggs. One day the glove slipped down my hand he pecked my hand! I was mortified, and have never really warmed to ginger roosters since. The scene you described is similar to the routine my dad & his hens go through daily. Hope they don't give you too much grief!!