So we got our chickens on Monday and I was hoping to blog this evening about how wonderful and excited this new venture is, but than today happened. Or I should say this evening happened, right around dusk. Gage and I had opened the chicken coop door this morning for the chickens to have their first romp outside. They were petrified, none of them stepped outside for hours. They talked to each other and pecked around their coop happily with the door wide open.
So, many hours later I decided to make those girls go outside. I pushed them out of the coop into the wide, wide world. They looked around, shook out their wings and ran back into their coop. Silly girls, back outside you go! Eventually they stayed outside and seemed to start enjoying themselves. I was so happy with myself.
They spent their day going inside and out - being chickens. I felt so happy that we had gotten the girls and brought them to this wonderful home. The girls are here & we are happy.
But than, holy bleep. Gage and I go out around dusk 5pm-ish, to lock the chickens into their coop. I was told and expected that they would just go back into their coop around dusk. They loved their coop, spent two full days in their coop and when they were let outside continued to run back into their coop. So we were going out to lock them into their beloved new coop for night time safety.
When I walked into the back yard, one of my black girls was up on top of her coop. A hop, skip and a jump from the 6 foot fence that surrounds our yard. The 6 foot fence that separates our beloved chickens from the neighbors yard. The neighbors yard that houses the dog that eats chickens - well certainly kills chickens. Gage and I stop in our tracks and I tell him not to move. I race out of our yard, around our house to the neighbors house, where I calmly (as calmly as I can) knock on the door, while my new little baby chicken roosts on the fence between our yards. I quietly tell the neighbor, who is in the middle of making dinner, that my new chicken (that she didn't know about) is roosting on her fence. She winces that lets me know that isn't good - Dakota kills things. "I know" I say "I know".
So she sends her son Ryan into the back yard to chase the chicken back into our yard. Well, that doesn't work. The lovely, silly, uncoordinated, scardey-cat chicken jumps into their yard. Uh-oh!
Luckily they had brought their dog inside. Their dog that lives outside, sleeps outside is an out-side dog was inside at that moment. Huh. Well I say "let me in, I'll catch her". I like my neighbor, she is a single mother and a nice person - but definitely not interested in dealing with chickens in her yard, or probably in our yard. I run after this crazy chicken and try to catch it, but chicken are hard to catch! I keep seeing my neighbor in the corner of my eye as I chase the chicken and she is trying to keep a semblance of calm. But this situation is clearly not OK for her. Her son Ryan is having a ball and I am finding it a little hard to figure out whether I should have fun with Ryan or stay serious and adult about this situation. So I get an old towel and finally lasso this a-hole, rambunctious chicken, who is clearly not grateful enough of her current situation. Gather her up, let Ryan pet her a bit and start heading home.
I leave with my neighbor asking if it is even legal to keep chickens. Um . . . . well, no not really - but it is currently being negotiated in the city council and many of our neighbors have them. Um, Um, Um . . . . . Well thank you for letting me catch the chicken and this will never happen again I promise. I hope that I can keep that promise for the neighbors sake, for the chickens sake, for my sanity. I stuck her back in with her sisters into their beloved coop.
WEW, the first 24 hours with the chickens, the girls - did I make a mistake?
Well let me get another glass of wine and ponder that. Hmmmmm.
Updates and bios on the girls coming soon. Even if they are a-holes. :)