|Posted by Angie on October 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM|
You know, I learn something new (or disprove something I thought I knew) everyday out here on the homestead. Yesterday afternoon turned into one of those days that I disproved something that I thought I already knew. Did you know that chickens (or really A chicken) will wander off from the flock? And when I say wander, I don't mean a few hundred feet, I mean like a mile away.
Yesterday started out like any other day...Billy was out-and-about taking care of some business and I was at home, working on the computer, interspersed with some tasks that needed to be done outside...
Before I go any further with my story, I have to admit a little crazy habit I always do around here. I am not sure if it is OCD or anything, but it is something I find myself doing EVERY time I go outside...I count chickens. And when I say I count chickens, I don't go around and count them like you normally would, you know "1-2-3...to 10". Oh no, I go "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4". What the heck is that about? Seriously, is that weird or what?
Every flipping time I go outside, I count them.
"1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4".
"1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4".
I just can't help myself. I just do it.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon I was transitioning from "inside" work to "outside" work, saw the chickens, and started my freaky little "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4" craziness; however THIS time it wasn't "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4", it was "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3".
You recognize the difference here, don't you? It was 1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3...and NO 4...no matter how many times I counted them there was NO 4 on my last count. I started to freak out a little bit. Where's the fourth chicken around here (I know it's really the 10th chicken, but I was working on my count)? Where could she be? After our duck drama a few weeks ago (see September 24th post) and with all of the eagles, hawks, and owls we have hanging around here (see March 5th post), I started to wonder if something swooped down and grabbed one of our girls for a late afternoon snack. It made me sad. It didn't matter how many times I did my crazy count, I couldn't make a "4" happen.
Then, that's when it started to get really crazy. I started going around the homestead calling for the chicken...you know calling out, "C'mon sweetie", "Here chickie, chickie" in a high-pitched voice for like an hour (OMG, I am turning into one of those crazy chicken ladies!).
I started to make peace with the fact that she probably was in the belly of one of those bald eagles we saw perched up on a cypress tree last weekend. I was very sad. So, in my melancholy state, I started to walk towards the mailbox to retrieve our mail (our mailbox is a quarter-of-a-mile from our house; it's a bit of a hike) and passed one of my neighbors (all of our neighbors are totally cool) who has a couple of chickens (roosters) himself. So I casually asked him how his roosters were doing and if for any reason he had happened to see any of our girls....and you know what? He did. About an hour or so earlier.
Can you believe that happy crap? One of our girls (now named "The Wanderer"...or "Ho-bag" [she was hanging around his roosters]) scrambled--alone--all the way to our neighbor's house (about a quarter-of-a-mile down the dirt road), hung out with his roosters, and then wandered off again. He hadn't seen her for awhile, but he told me that he would give me a call if he did.
About an hour later, he called me back and told me he saw "Ho-bag" scratching around for bugs behind his horse barn. I was so excited. I ran over to his house, gave him a great big hug, and started calling for her (of course she didn't pay any attention to me). So, I dodged huge piles of horse poo to get over to her. Of course as soon as she saw me she squatted for me to pick her up and I carried little "Ho-bag" home.
Happy ending to a crazy little chicken story. Even crazier...we got 11 eggs today!