Our yard has become over run with chickens. While many of you are aware of our dairy farm, you may not be so aware that we have quite the accumulation of random animals at our house. Goats, horses, a few 4-H heifers and a plethora of chickens inhabit an old hog house that sits in our back yard. Earlier this spring I introduced my daughters addiction to my readers https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/chickens-are-over-taking-my-home-and-yard-and-garage/
Well those cute little peeps that lived in a water tub in our garage have become teenagers. Pullets is the technical term, but we’re not all about technicality here. I’m going to call it like I see it, they are pushy, loud and sometimes fighting juvenile delinquents. This mess began innocently enough. A nice calm evening on July 16th the coop doors were opened for the hens and the pullets. Our crazy blue heeler pup, Bella, was going off to the vets in the morning to be spayed. The world needs no little Bella’s! She had to be tied to her box to ensure she didn’t eat or drink the evening before. Bella has one small problem. She thinks when the chickens are loose that they are great toys to chase and even better, when caught they taste delicious. So with her confinement came their freedom.
The birds love to be free. The pack up and investigate everything. Chickens are one of the closest related living relatives of the dinosaurs. A very distant relative to the T-Rex. If you watch their crazy behavior there are days I could believe it. They are menacing predators when free ranging. Bugs, spiders, small snakes, mice, rats nothing is beyond their reach. They become braver as their numbers and time outside the coop grows.
The day following their initial freedom was when our meningitis nightmare began. So they’ve been free for 15 days as of today. I have a feeling re-confining is not going to be done easily. The main chicken catcher is lacking in coordination right now, so she’s going to need back up. I don’t know if I’m up for this task!
We have 2 groups right now. They aren’t intermingling. Apparently the hens believe they are too distinguished for the younger pullets. The more “mature” group stays by the barn, obeying orders like they should. There’s 18 older, more distinguished ladies living in these accommodations, close to their home. They prefer to stay close to their nesting boxes and away from our house.
These young rebels on the other hand have infiltrated my yard. They are every where and the crazy chicken kid is not helping the situation. She feeds them scraps out the front and back door. They hear hinges squeak and come running. If you’ve never seen a chicken run you are missing out on some cheap entertainment. Think 23 teeny little T-Rex’s mobbing scraps of hot dog and bread crust like it’s manna from heaven.
The kids are supposed to be getting lots of rest and staying quiet while they are recovering. Meningitis makes you cranky, anti-seizure medicine makes you cranky. We have 2 kids dealing with both. I’m pretty sure I could sell tickets to pre-school cage fights today. It’s been bad. Finally Taylor fell asleep. Emma was being Emma and quite resilient. So my mom offered to take her to run an errand, thinking maybe she would snooze in the car and it gave me a little break. Her and I have been butting heads since about 6 this morning. I can’t wait until she’s a teenager!
We went outside to soak up some sun for a few minutes while waiting for my mom. Guess who met us?
They even acted a little sad when she left.
So if you drive by our house or stop to visit while the kids are sick, don’t worry, our mini T-Rex’s aren’t ferocious. But they are some of the most curious little animals I’ve ever seen.
A fund has been set up to help with the kids medical expenses. It can be found at https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427
The story of their battle with meningitis begins here https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-last-36-hours/