Wednesday, January 30, 2008

secret agent chickens

Ok.  So by now you all know that my daughter "Chickie" has a thing for... that's right.  Chicks.  She even chose to dress her little elephant in a chick blanket.  And was adamant about using that fabric for her elephant and she chose the other fabrics accordingly.         

Some friends of ours who have chickens, are now our neighbors.  They are home schoolers, healthy eating, composting, intellectual-creative types.  Darla says she's a "crunchy-con."  I guess that is a granola conservative.  Any way because of this cool family vibe they have going on  they won a trip to DisneyWorld.  And while they were gone they entrusted us of all people, with the care of their little ladies.  And by that I mean the chickens.

First few days good.  We go change their water, and collect their eggs.  Play on their swingset and get their mail.  We even let the chickens out once.  You know, just for kicks.  I thought it would be fun until I had to run all around the yard gathering them up.   Just in case you wanted to know:  Grabbing chickens, ew. Gross.  

Rob said we could let them out, but we'd just have to open the door at nightfall and they'd get right back in the coop.  But he also said that the black and white one can fly out of the fence.  So I didn't want to chance that.  Hence all the running and grabbing.  Poor things.  

So we decided definitely not to let them out anymore.    Good decision.

Until last night.  We got there a little late.  When we opened the fence two of the chickens came running at us.  We freaked out a little. Tried to remain calm.  We let them back in.  The other two chickens were nowhere to be found.  It was dark and really windy.  The  little door at the bottom was loose. When I latched it up again I noticed that if I pushed on the door, the latch would fall.  
It had been a really windy day.  So I called Darla and told her that the wind blew the coop open and two chickens escaped.  I felt really stupid.  Chris went over there that night and searched around for them to no avail.  
That night I made pumpkin cranberry bread and cleaned my house until I was too exhausted to continue.    I realized that's what I do when I'm stressed.  First, bake.  Second, clean.  
So this morning I sent Chris over there, afraid of what we'd find.  And all four chickens were in the coop.  The little door latch was super tight.   He fed them grapes, all was good.  So, either they are secret agent chickens or a neighbor found them, put them away, and tightened the little door.  (Neighbors do stuff like that, right.  Once I chased a huge dog all around the neighborhood and got another neighbor to help me put him back in and then board up the fence.  This was when we were moving and we had already moved all our tools.) 

They laid a lot of eggs today.  I guess they are as happy as I am that they are safe.  I was really afraid last night that we would become known as the family of chicken killers.  Not good. Not good.  What's up with us having an unusually large number of friends with chickens?  Two is unusually large. Right?

Today I'm thankful for free eggs.  Admittedly, I'm using the term "free" very loosely here.


mindy said...

We are contemplating getting chickens. So then you'd REALLY have lots of friends with chickens. I'm glad they were all safe & sound. I hate losing pets. Our cat Noni got out last Sunday and I was a MESS! Happily, we left the garage door open a bit and put some stinky canned cat food out, and by the time David came to bed, Noni was hiding under the car. Of course I'd already scoured the neighborhood twice and put up 20 "Lost Cat" signs. But I was just relieve to have him home. I worry so about my little critters.

andrea said...

That's funny. I'm glad Noni likes smelly cat food. It makes me want to sing. "Smelly cat, smelly cat. What..are..they feeding you. Smelly, smelly, smelly, really bad, really smelly cat. It's not your fa-aa-ault!"
Hmmm. That sounded amazing I wish you could have heard it for yourself!

You guys would really enjoy chickens. And they are an animal that gives back.