chicken run

We have chickens and they have just started laying eggs. It's the only thing I like about them, that they produce something. Other than that, they scare me. I was not raised on a farm, and even further, we didn't have pets growing up, except for a small stint with a crazy cat that pooped on the carpet. Then stepped in it. I remember it got ring worm and mom giving it a bath in the sink, and then she used a blow dryer to dry it. The cat hated it, and I'm pretty sure mom wasn't enjoying herself either.

Ken is great with animals. Heck, my daughter is great with ALL animals. She held the chickens when they were tiny and has been "playing" with them ever since. Ken holds them and can pick them up with ease. I, however, am skittish and jumpy around them. They have a coop but Ken opens the coop in the morning so them can roam, so one day we can say our eggs are from "free range" chickens. When they roam, I don't go in the backyard. Not even to take out the trash. The closest I get it is I open the back door and I look at them through the screen. Now that they lay eggs, Ken built an egg box where they lay them. Smart little chickens. Once I tried to get an egg that wasn't in the box and I swore I could hear them cursing at me in cluck, "Don't you touch my eggs!"

When Ken gets home from work, one of the first things Avery says to him is, "Chickens!! EGGS?!!" So they go out and get them, while I comfortably stay away.

Last week we had a pretty wild storm. More windy than usual, lots of thunder and lightening. An hour after it had passed, I look out the front door, and across the street I see the chickens. They got out of the backyard and made their way across the street and were heading even further away. I put Eliza down and thankfully Avery was still napping, and I went to get them.

Pretty sure Ken would have paid to have been a witness to this process, but he had to settle for my frantic phone calls, "The chickens are out!!! They won't listen to me! (No, chickens, this way little chickens.) They can sense my weakness!"

I get them to cross the street while stopping traffic. It was like make way for ducklings. I felt absurd. They won't come into the front yard, but instead them hang out on the neighbor's porch. I have the brilliant idea of getting the kitchen scraps to lure them over to the back gate to get to their coop. I start throwing lettuce and strawberries all over the side walk only to lead them to the empty lot behind our house. It took a lot of tapping of the umbrella to spook them to move away from the street, but they eventually made their way to the backyard. An umbrella is the obvious choice to get chickens to come home.

You would think after this experience we would have formed a sort of bond. That they would come to appreciate me because I saved their lives. But I'm still scared. I guess you could say I'm chicken shit.

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