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When you’re a chicken, everyone looks like a tree

It’s been hot here lately. The chickens don’t like that much. In the middle of the day, they stay in the shade under the chicken house, on the cool paving slabs, trilling quietly.

In the evenings, though, when the air cools, I let them out and sit in the garden with them for an hour or so, letting them “free range.”

This consists of squawking, flapping short distances, pecking everything that moves, pecking everything that doesn’t move, belly-bumping and pecking each other, running for cover when anything flies overhead, teasing the cat and, increasingly, perching all over my person in the most outrageous and undignified manner.

That last bit is worth every penny they cost.

That, and so far nobody’s shat on me. Bonus!


Comment from Pavel
Time: June 29, 2010, 11:57 pm

The claws: they hurt, right? Or do you wear a full-body leather suit?

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 30, 2010, 12:01 am

I’m glad you’re enjoying the chickens! They are cute.

Off topic, but this will probably please Uncle B. to no end: World’s Most Fearless Mammal

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2010, 12:36 am

Yup, Enas — Uncle B liked that a lot.

No, Pavel…claws don’t hurt at all. Mostly they stand on me, but even when they grip, it’s not painful.

Now, twice tonight, Mapp got a good beakful of weaselflesh, pulled and twisted. That hurt. As much shock and surprise as anything.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: June 30, 2010, 12:52 am

Ya know, you’ve just committed yourself to posting a pic of you or UB with a chickem perched on your head, right? 😉

Comment from Gromulin
Time: June 30, 2010, 12:53 am

Ohh…now we need a Shat Upon pool. I take next Wednesday.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2010, 12:56 am

Yeah…Uncle B caught me be-chickened earlier and took some pictures, but it was dark and they all suffered from camera shake. Since the little peckerheads do it every night now, we will have more opportunities…

Comment from Allen
Time: June 30, 2010, 1:04 am

Chicken Drop Contest! I was in Belize, drunk, or ended up in Belize because I was drunk, out on Ambergris Caye. I’m still unsure about the order. When I flew down there I thought they called it TACO air, hey I’m really not a racist. It’s TACA air. I digress.

The bar where I was soaking up the ambience had a chicken drop contest. They had all these squares layed out on the grass, whereupon they threw a chicken off the second floor balcony. Now chickens can’t fly but they can sure as hell flap to slow the plummeting down. Thus, the chicken will land in a random square. I won $500 Belize ($250 US). I bought the bar a round and gave the rest of the money to the local school. I was very popular during my stay.

Chicken drop please? 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2010, 1:08 am

Chickens can fly. Just…not much.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: June 30, 2010, 1:09 am

Allen, you must be thinking of Taco Bell, the Mexican phone company (inside-telecom joke…sorry).

Comment from Allen
Time: June 30, 2010, 1:20 am

That’s true Weasel, they can generate some lift but the whole affair is rather ungainly. Like me trying to dance.

Comment from JeffS
Time: June 30, 2010, 2:15 am

Badgers are indeed the most fearless mammals. I was driving some back roads in eastern Washington, once upon a time, and came upon a badger crossing the road. I slowed down for him, but the creature stopped, looked right at me, and refused to move.

A small mammal, weighing maybe 40 pounds, staring down a 2500 pound SUV. Imagine that.

I ended up driving around him; I suspect that if I had tried to run him over, the creature would have tried chewing through the grill to the engine, which would have been hard to explain, back at the motor pool.

And the bastard kept his beady eyes on me the entire time.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: June 30, 2010, 2:22 am

Them thar shru is sum pruty stewing birds. JK

I’d definitely trade my week for sitting in the garden sun with purring chickens.

Hell, I’d even trade for chicken minesweeper in Belize.

Comment from Mcgyver
Time: June 30, 2010, 3:11 am

I can attest that Banty roosters can fly (unclipped wings… we domesticated him later). They flush just like a pheasant. They also look really funny with their head caught in a wire fence, because they were moving too fast to avoid it.

Tom was probably the best rooster we ever had, excepting Chuck-a-Luck. You know the whole Galaxy Quest thing? Never Surrender, Never Give Up! That was Tom

Mcgyver, out

Comment from porknbean
Time: June 30, 2010, 3:23 am

To prevent any shat from seeping to your flesh, just wear one of those ponchos you have to wear when you get your hair cut.

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: June 30, 2010, 3:57 am

We had a “Chicken” drop contest except we used cows. And no, we didn’t drop them out of the second story window. They just sauntered around the pen until the urge hit them…If they hit your lucky square, you won…$10

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 30, 2010, 4:41 am

Them are indeed charming chickens. . .but I have to say, the feature I admire most is the legs. All those feathers–sort of like moon boots or chaps, or leggings, or something. Not in the least like the naked scaly legs of most chickens I have known. It’s hard to articulate the visual impact, but they are seriously cool.

Dunno if I could sit still while chickens clambered over me–I tend to get irritated with the cats when they insist on wandering around. Seems to me your hens are lucky to have found your home. When do you start getting eggs?

Comment from JuliaM
Time: June 30, 2010, 4:49 am

“Off topic, but this will probably please Uncle B. to no end: World’s Most Fearless Mammal”

I can believe it. In one of Aspinall’s zookeeper’s books, there’s the tale of how the eccentric millionaire used to walk some of his animals round the zoo on leashes.

One of them was the ratel, until the keeper walking THAT met a keeper walking a Bengal tiger. The ratel went straight for the tiger’s balls and there was a few moments of…well, ‘interesting job experience’ I think you’d call it!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 30, 2010, 5:56 am

Awwwwwww! They’re still cute!

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: June 30, 2010, 1:02 pm

I want me some chickens, too. Some day.

Comment from Skandia
Time: June 30, 2010, 10:28 pm

The neighbor’s chickens were free ranging over in my yard one day when the coyotes caught them. I had no idea a chicken could run that fast! Or could be so loud while doing it, and that the rest of the flock would be screaming from the side lines like spectators at world cup soccer. I thought the coyotes were laughing about it.

Comment from Spad13
Time: June 30, 2010, 10:36 pm

Weasel I have heard that chickens will definately peck at moles the skin thinking (if you can call it that) that they are pecking bugs. Gods little plastic surgeons.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2010, 10:50 pm

Oh, they will definitely do that, Spad. And worse. I was out there tonight, and Miss Mapp kept having a hard peck at a skeeter bite on my leg that is now more wound than bite. Ouch!

Oh, and later I had to free a thrush that got caught in the netting over the strawberries. He really trussed himself up good trying to get free. Good thing I wore gloves — bastard pecked the SHIT out of me the whole time I was cutting him loose.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2010, 11:00 pm

You know, if Mapp gets a taste for blood, I’m in DEEP trouble.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 1, 2010, 1:28 am

It’s a good think our pets don’t realize that we’re made up of a lot of tasty meat, completely unprotected by scales, claws, talons, or sharp teeth.

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 1, 2010, 2:12 am

You know, if Mapp gets a taste for blood, I’m in DEEP trouble.

Carnivorous chickens!

Hmmmmmm…..that sounds like a good name for a punk rock band. Or the theme of a really bad science fiction movie.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 1, 2010, 2:45 am

Carnivorous chickens?

It isn’t that chickens aren’t carnivores (think bugs!)–just that they don’t usually attempt to eat any critter physically larger than they are.

I’ll admit, though, that the image of a flock of chickens attacking a large mammal of some kind definitely resonates as a “really bad science fiction movie.” Eeewww!

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: July 1, 2010, 4:10 am

Niña sez:

It’s a good think our pets don’t realize that we’re made up of a lot of tasty meat, completely unprotected by scales, claws, talons, or sharp teeth.

Speak for yourself!

I’m just glad my Siamese biting fish is in a cage. The goats to feed it are getting expensive though.

Comment from Og
Time: July 1, 2010, 5:41 am

Jurassic Peck. I’ve seen our chickens hunt and kill mice. It is then their inner dinosaur really shows through. Makes it easy to imagine the mayhem they would cause if scaled up.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2010, 11:56 am

Yes, I’ve been told of chickens eating baby rats and lizards and…anything that strays into the run. Also chicken. And eggs.

Apparently, cat food is a good thing to give chickens which are poorly.

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: July 1, 2010, 1:20 pm

We need a vampire chicken graphic, Ms. Weasel.

Comment from Bob Mulroyq
Time: July 1, 2010, 6:19 pm

You can get a mister at your local farm supply if the daytime heat is a problem. They only use a few galons a day, and they make for some mighty happy birds.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2010, 10:21 pm

For a second there, Bob, I thought you were recommending I get a new husband at the farm supply shop.

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