This month I happily volunteered to care for a friend’s menagerie of 3 chickens, 2 cats and a dog, while she spent a week away with friends of hers. She showed me the morning and evening routines, and I was excited to care for the animals!
Day 1; The dog, Petunia, is a very sweet, quiet girl, always ready for her walk. Since my friend didn’t leave until early afternoon, I only needed to go over in the evening. Fortunately Dave insisted on coming to assist me.
Walking Petunia, feeding and watering her and the cats went well. Now, to put the chickens to bed.
To our dismay, we saw that the chicken run door had been left open and 2 of the 3 chickens were strutting loose in the yard. One ducked under the chain link fence and wandered into a neighbor’s yard. I quickly closed the chicken run door then called my friend while Dave and I tried to wrangle the wayward chickens.
ME: “The chickens are loose!”
FRIEND: “Oh my God! I must not have latched the door!”
ME: “I gotta help Dave. I’ll let you know when we catch them.”
While Dave is trying to corner one of the wayward fowl, he yells, “Open the door so they can run back in.”
“No, ” I contradict. “Then this one will get out.”
Mercifully, before I did close the door, one of the chickens ran back into the safety of the chicken run.
Traipsing through 2 neighbors’ yards, we finally corner the second naughty bird between the chain link fence and a clump of ivy. Dave grabbed her by both hands and we backtracked across the neighbors’ yards, back into the chicken run.
The hens scurried into their coop and once they were secured for the night, I again called my friend and gave her the good news the situation was remedied.
We drove home in silence as the sun began to set. Thinking how glad I was Dave had insisted on accompanying me, I glanced at my fowl-wrangling husband. Before I could thank him, Dave turned to me, a look of tired surprise mixed with satisfaction on his face.
“I touched a live chicken,” he said with hints of pride and wonder. “I’ve never touched a live chicken before.”