Friday, November 28, 2014

Carl the Chicken Chaser

Let me begin by apologizing....there are no cute pictures to go along with this sad, I know. You see, the Chicken Lady is in desperate need of a new camera, so until then, I fear there will be limited pictures posted, and those that do happen to make it on here were taken by an antique.
  Anyhoo, Carl usually accompanies me out to the barn in the evenings to feed the horses and collect the eggs. We bundle up (he wears more cold weather gear than I do, even though I'm sure the chilly air bothers me more than it does him), but I do tend to have the first-time mommy tendencies. His head is covered up with the hood of his coat, his cheeks are pink and excitement is in his eyes, as Carl LOVES going outside. Bundled up and he walks beside me, trilling his tongue and pointing to the barn for the entire stroll. He looks at me, then straight ahead, back at me, straight ahead. I know he's trying to tell me something and I can't wait to hear it one of these days with real words.  Once we get there, Carl greets and chickens who happen to be naughty and loitering around in the barn instead of the kennel/steer lot/coop where they should be, and proceeds to get said chickens all riled up by chasing after them as I pour grain into Jimmy and Charlie's feed buckets. At first I told him not to, but as I saw he wasn't going to listen to me anyway, and how can really get the girls moving, I decided to put him to work. He has successfully chased a few of these broads back into the kennel when I open the door for them.
  After we have corralled any strays back to where they belong, he goes into the kennel part of the "coop" with me as I collect the ONE eggs that someone insists on laying there daily (at least she's consistent). All the while Carl practices his chasing skills. I feel like I'm in a tornado of feathers and BE-COKS as I try and painstakingly make my way to the door, calling for Carl to follow me as my voice is lost in the ruckus as Aunt Em's is lost to winds of the twister in 'The Wizard of Oz'.
  This daily activity is paying off, however, as real-life storm chaser and thrill seeker Reed Timmer has called to see if Carl is available to chase tornados once he is potty trained....
  The other night I left my sidekick indoors in the trusty hands of the Notekins as babysitters (because I'm going to receive the "Mom-of-the Year' award for 2014) and ran to the barn myself. These really cold days I can get the work done faster since it takes the same amount of time to bundle everyone up as it does for me to go and do the feeding and egg collecting. After several minutes of chicken chasing, I regretted my brilliant idea. One particularly stupid bird kept running past the open kennel door and out into the dark night. I had to chase her halfway down the steer lot fence row before I could get in front of her to try and scare her back in the barn. Then the genius ran past the OPEN door and almost out in the horse pasture. *Insert Shaw sigh here* Finally I succeeded and had her back in the coop with the door shut so that all the chickens were shut in for the night.
  Or so I thought.
  As I reached my hand in a crack of the horse hay where said less intelligent bird laid a hoard of eggs before we could find them, up sprang another chicken from the hiding place like a freak popping out of a birthday cake!
  "SURPRISE!" She squawked at me, hay flying everywhere and feathers flapping like crazy. *Insert annoying Carrie Screamerwood "Blown Away" here* So there I am, going into round two of chicken chasing, wearing a sexy getup, let me tell you. I had my skipants on over my stay-at-home-mom yoga pants, pinned closed with on old baby safety pin I think my mom used on me back when parents used cloth diapers, because the zipper broke on the ski pants. The nylon on the butt of my ski pants is almost all melted off because I stood too close to heater in the dairy barn office one morning. I had my Shaw Farm coat on under my heavy coat (that was free by the way) that smells like dairy cows (sorry Janet!) with dried poop going down one arm. Jimmy and Charlie are laughing hysterically at me, rolled on their backs, slapping their bellies with  their front hooves, as tears running out of their eyes.  
  I'm praying for three things as I chase this dumb bird to the OPEN kennel door, where she can't seem to comprehend the fact that she has to go AROUND the door and that the world doesn't end in the corner of the door and the wall of the kennel.
  1.) I pray my son is still OK inside and isn't screaming yet,
  2.) That a Yoder doesn't decide to pull in the driveway and see a sexy beast who apparently can't contain and catch her chickens, and
  3.) That this stupid chicken would just die for all the trouble she's caused me.
SO, lesson learned here, Carl is a much better chicken chaser than I am. He actually thinks it's fun!
 If you see me with a bald spot, it's from pulling out my hair over these birds and nothing to do with my toddler son.

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