Monday, October 26, 2015

Chasing Chickens

Jilda and I have kept chickens for years. All you have to do is toss out a few scoops of scratch feed, keep their water fresh and in return we have an aerated yard and a fridge full of fresh eggs. When the price of eggs skyrocketed, we smiled all the way to the henhouse. An added benefit of keeping chickens is pest control. We let them run free inside our backyard fence, and they have a field day pecking and scratching. Bugs, ants, spiders, and aphids are chicken candy. But as we learned this week, they can be aggravating.

The birds we’ve had through the years have been delightful for the most part, but last Tuesday Jilda drove into the driveway moments after me. We’d both had grueling days and were ready to fix supper and unwind.

As we stepped onto the walk from the driveway, we noticed something out of the corner of our eye. It was one of our newer chickens pecking birdseed under the feeder in the front yard.

Apparently she’d gotten bored in the backyard and flew out to see if the bugs were fatter on the other side of the fence.

Our dogs are used to the chickens and don’t bother them in the front yard, but in the past we’ve lost birds to neighborhood dogs.

I set my laptop bag on the porch while Jilda stepped over and opened the backyard gate. We gently began to herd the rebel hen toward the opening.

You’d think this would be easy, but when the Good Lord gave out brains, apparently chickens were at the end of the line and missed out on the gray matter.

We chased that chicken around the yard before it finally darted under the truck. Fetching
my walking stick, I shooed it out and into the fence.

I told Jilda we needed to clip their wing feathers or we’d be doing this every evening. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of chasing chickens, so she agreed.

The plan was to herd them into the chicken pen, which is a much smaller contained space where we could hem them up, catch them, and do the deed. Having a plan and executing it are two totally different things. We chased those four chickens all around the back yard trying to herd them into the pen. I’m thankful no one got video because it would have gone viral on YouTube.

After about 20 minutes, Jilda was huffing and I was sweating like a marathon runner.

After a few more minutes, Jilda said, “If you’ll get the shotgun, I’ll heat up the lard and we’ll have fried chicken for supper.” One glance at her face and I knew she was serious.

Fortunately, I remember the landing net I use when I fish. With it, we managed to corner the birds one at a time and trapped them with the net. While she held them upside down by their legs, they squawked pitifully as I clipped off about six inches of their wings.

This morning after I freed them from the pen, they are all skulking around inside the fence. I could almost hear them squawking the tune to Birmingham Jail.


  1. Free eggs are great, but there's a downside to everything, I suppose.

  2. Chicken chasing was one of the exercises to get Rocky in shape and build his speed.. You're not planning on entering the ring with Apollo Creed are you?

  3. Yep, it woulda been a sight to behold on YOU TUBE. Nice to know what you are doing. I bet not only Jilda was serious, but just maybe you too, instead of YOUtube!

    But you will enjoy the eggs... From Florida!

  4. PS: Great story!

  5. It sounds like "What we have a failure to communicate." Of course I am thinking about Cool hand Luke:)

  6. Sulking or skulking around inside the fence?
    Hilarious post.
    Ms Soup

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I could just see you all chasing those chickens and did feel your pain. That would not be a fun job at all. Thankfully the clipped wings should make things a whole lot easier for the two of you from now on.

  9. I would have love to seen this. I bet you got your quota of steps for the day. Good thinking about the net. Poor hens just the same. I bet they will give you scrambled eggs this morning, haha.

  10. LOL... I can see the two of you chasing them... did you get all your steps in for your Fitbit with? It's good you clipped their wings, they will get over it, thanks so much for the laugh this morning Rick :D

  11. The mental images gave me a smile. The net was a good idea--perspiration followed by inspiration. (That's when you got smarter than the chicken. ;-) )

  12. Sorry but that is so funny to imagine you and Jilda doing that. : )
    I've thought a few times about getting chickens but so far haven't gotten past thinking about it.

  13. Anonymous1:18 PM

    You could rename this "Charlie & the Chicken Factory"!!

  14. I wish I could have watched as you chased the chickens. They are the most aggravating creatures to try to have any control over them.


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