Wednesday, April 23, 2008

corporeal bird

Yesterday when I got home from work my neighbor Katie was trying to herd the Polishes back up the hill to my property. The birds wattled down the hill to her muddy, slug filled creek bed earlier in the day, and as dusk fell became confused and couldn't hear the other hens back up at the coop. They collected near her garden shed, waiting to be let in the hostel for the night. I saw her struggling to help me out, and while I was touched at her concern for the birds, I felt bad she was going out of her way to wrangle them home for me. I walked down the hill at a wide berth, hoping to help her get the chickens back up the hill. I shouted over to her "Thank you!" and she explained the whole bit to me while we side stepped and shooed the birds home like a pair of border collies. After a while it felt ridiculous and I just picked up Abigail Adams and Cecilia (the Polish hens, now named) and left Benedict on the ground, confused and alone ran into the woods instead of following me to the coop. Let the games begin.

I got the girls in with the Rhodedottes and then turned around to walk down the dirt road and try and catch Ben, which I've done before. As far as roosters go, he's fairly calm and lets you hold him if you mean it. Ben was barely in view of the cabin, off the main road heading for the woods. I doubted he had the guff of Ringo, and his top hat of feathers already hurt his vision from predators. I had to get him back.

So Katie pulled up the rear, trying to head him from the field near the tree line back to my garden/coop area. While she struggled I decided to try calling him home. I went in the coop and picked up Ringo, which of course made her scream only the way a crazy chicken can, and Katie yelled "keep doing that! He can hear the girls, he's running home!!" So I grabbed another Rhodedotte, and they all screamed like I had shake and bake in my back pocket. Ben wad running but then, he hit the fence. The garden fence runs about thirty feet right in front of the coop. The rooster could see the coop in front of him, hear the girls, and in the panic of the crazy people and the flurry of hen noises he just kept running into the chain link. As if he'd become incorporeal if he really meant it. I stared in awe at his stupidity. Katie just shook her head as she walked up the driveway..."That is one dumb bird..." Yes.

After a few panicked moments he walked around the fence and into the coop, jumped up on their branch roost and settled in just as night fell. My dumb bird found his way home. Let's hear it for Ben.


Blogger sara mack said...

what an a-hole

April 24, 2008 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Hopefully, this won't become a routine. Chickens form habits quickly, and if the slug feasting was good, they'll wanna go back. You might try using the same "call" to get them in each night. Like a word or phrase you yell a special way. I use "Hey, kids! Who wants some DEEEnner?" They all come running... even stupid roosters. I end up looking like an avian Pied Piper with hundreds of chickens following me and manuevering for position. The neighbors love to watch. :)

April 24, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Of course, there has to be a scratch grain snack at the end of all that running... incentive, ya know.

April 24, 2008 at 4:07 PM  

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