My last week has been consumed with the frantic finishing (and starting) of the new mobile chicken coop. Some times work went more smoothly than others, as you could have perhaps guess from reading about my feelings on the second law of thermodynamics, but laws of thermodynamics and all the chickens moved in last night. The new coop is located far out in the pasture away from their old coop in the yard. Many of the chickens spent a happy afternoon scratching through the leaf litter in the woods and poking about decisively on their never ending search for tasty treats. Other chickens slowly made their way back into the yard and familiar territory.
Knowing that chicken bedtime was bound to be a bit interesting just before dusk I grabbed a few pizza crusts and headed outside. I was hoping that I could lure those chickens that had come back into the yard back to the new coop in the pasture. It started out fantastic. I gave the “hey chickens” whistle and they willingly followed me right up to the edge of their old home range. Then they’d start looking a little worried, and scoot back into the yard. Meanwhile the chickens out at the new coop in the pasture wanted to come back and eat with the other chickens. They would have come straight back but dark was coming and chickens have a very definite sense of bedtime. They just couldn’t get that far away from the new coop where they knew they could roost for the night. What followed was a lot of me whistling for chickens and watching them run to the middle no mans land, panic and run back the way they came. On rare occasions a chicken would switch “sides”, but not necessarily in the direction I was hoping for.
I can already hear my Dad saying that a chicken can’t be indecisive, that that would require brains. It is true that chickens don’t have the reputation of being the brightest bird but tonight their little brains were working so hard I could practically hear their thoughts.
They went something like this:
I see some of my friends! I should go see what they are eating! OH, this is getting really far away from my coop… It’s almost dark! I’M ALL BY MYSELF! Which way? WHICH WAY? I see chickens eating, I see chickens roosting, a new coop, my old coop…. OH dear, oh dear….. AHHH I CAN’T TAKE IT!
and the chicken would sprint back the direction it came from.
It would have been more amusing had it not culminated in me carrying 25 of my 35 chickens from the fence in the yard out to their new home.
So if your Sunday evening is looking dull, just come on over. You can watch indecisive chickens panic over which direction to head followed by me carry piles of chickens through the dark to their proper location.
Who needs a T.V. when you’ve got entertainment like that?