Last summer, my son built a chicken coop for me and gave me two of the chickens he raised. Having chickens has been a lesson in determination. When I open the gate to the chicken run, they’re determined to get out. When I bring their favorite treats, they’re determined to have some before I can serve it. When I turn the soil in the chicken run, they’re determined to scratch right where I’m digging. Luckily, no one has gotten hurt.
Last fall, I let them out a few times to scratch around in the garden near their coop while I worked nearby. Our yard isn’t fenced in on all sides, so I kept a close watch.
A few weeks later, I read about letting chickens scratch around in the compost pile for veggie scraps and to help “turn” the pile. I thought it was a great idea. I let them out to scratch around near the chicken coop as usual before I took them to the compost pile. The next thing I knew, they were headed down the side of the house toward the front yard! I was in a panic. They’d not done that before. Visions of my chickens getting hit by cars ran through my head.
I grabbed one chicken and herded the other one. She ran this way and that until I got her in the back yard. I decided it was time they went to the compost pile. I carried one over and set her on top of it. The other one stared at us for a few minutes and then made her way over.
They were having a lovely time it seemed until one took off toward the neighbor’s yard on the non-fenced in side of our yard. The other one followed. I caught up with them and scooped one up, but I couldn’t catch the other one. She ran all over the place.
I pictured myself head-butting a pine tree and knocking myself out while chasing this runaway chicken, so I put the one I was holding in the chicken run and locked her in. I ran to the carport to get the bag of dried meal worms. The loose chicken stopped and watched me from across the yard. She knew what I had. I told her, “You better come on if you want a treat.”
She followed. I could see her creeping around in the leaves and brush as she headed toward the chicken coop. I held the gate open for her, and as soon as she got inside, I tossed the treats in and shut the gate. Whew!
Boy, was I worn out! I don’t know who was more traumatized by the adventure—me or the chickens. Such determination! They go after what they want. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Maybe some of their determination will rub off on me!