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There's bound to be plenty!

I've never owned chooks but I've heard the odd story along the way.

Friend up the road when I lived in town, had a motley collection of chooks including some Silkies.

The chooks got up in the morning, walked up the many steps to her back door and sat there waiting for handouts.

Evening came and they put themselves to bed. The door to their pen was never closed, so they were able to 'get up with the chooks and go to bed with the chooks'.

Middle of the night, there was a terrific kerfuffle. A neighbour's dog had got into the chook run and was creating merry hell. My friend shot out of bed and roared around the yard chasing this dog.

Her neighbour (the one who owned the dog) just about had a heart attack on the spot.

My friend slept in the raw. It was weeks before her neighbour could look at her again.

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This happened a few years ago when I first started keeping chooks. They were free range, and had the entire yard to run around in.

One morning, as I sat sipping my coffee and waiting for my brain to start working, I saw one of my chickens running flat-out past the front of the house with something in her beak.

Following not far behind, were the rest of the chooks (looking more like a ball of feathers with 10 little legs moving at lightning speed, than individual chickens) chasing that one hen as if their very lives depended on it.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then, here came that same chook zipping back by the front of the house in the opposite direction (still at top speed) followed closely by the ball of chickens.

I got a look at her prize as she went by this time. “Man! That’s a big worm.” I thought to myself... “Wait...!” Oh, hell!”, coffee down and out the door I go.

I’m sure it must have looked a sight: chicken with a snake in her beak, running like mad, followed by a ball of chickens, followed by a frantic and insufficiently caffeinated woman yelling and trying desperately to get said snake away from them all (think “greased-pig” contest but with feathers.)

Up and down all the levels of the yard we scrambled, back and forth through shrubs, around trees...

Suddenly, everyone came to an abrupt stop just long enough for me to catch sight of a rather stunned-looking chicken with the tail-end of the snake wrapped tightly around her neck and its head in her beak.

That motionless split second of confusion, gave one of the others the opportunity to snatch the snake and off we went again: chook with snake, ball of chickens, crazed and uncoordinated woman.

It must have taken 15-20 minutes of what would have been “pure comedic gold” to get that snake away from them.

In the end, it turned out to be just a poor little crown snake about 30cm long. My original concern for the safety of the chickens turned into concern for the safety of the snake, so I released it somewhere I hoped it would be safe.

And my coffee was cold.

To have been a fly on a branch … ;-)

I can see it ;)

Bette meets Percy

Situation:  It had to happen.  The girls were out this morning, and Percy the Bush Turkey decided to visit. 

Background:  Although Bette is my biggest chook, she is the newest.  Consequently, she's at the bottom of the pecking order.  I warned Pearl and Coral - she is gunna be a big girl.  Treat her nice.  

Event description:  Occasionally, I wake a little late in the day, and for a little while may be a bit "confuddled." Bobbie may (or may not) have slept in with me on any given day.

This morning, as I stumbled towards the glass door to the big girls' yard, I really was still half asleep.   I could see My Rozie out there with the girls.  Then I saw Percy wandering on over as well.  Just then, Bette looked up.

Analysis:  Bette shaped up (literally, puffed up twice her size and went for Percy) just as I opened the door. Bobbie raced out like a shot out of a gun.  (He hates Percy with a passion.)  

Result: There was a lot of noise. Quite a few feathers were shed.  All four birds (Percy included) went hell, west and crooked.  I just blinked, quietly slid the door shut and switched on the coffee machine.  

It's a jungle out there!

I was attacked by a ninja chicken tonight!

Ever since I came face to face with that 3 meter carpet snake while I was putting the chickens to bed, I've been a little nervous in the pen. 

I acquired two new chickens recently: a brown one from a friend (David de Groot) two days ago and black one that I bought today.  The one from David took a night to realise where she needed to roost (I found her on a board underneath the raised coup).  So tonight when I went out in the dark to lock them up, I figured the new one would be there today.  Nope.  Oh that's good, she must have followed the others into the coup.  

I did my quick check with the tiny torch for snakes in the big tree in the center of the pen.  Nothing.  All good. So I opened the double latched pen door and started in.  

Sweet mercy!  Something grabbed my head on the way in!  I may have squealed like a big girl's blouse.  Luckily, my bowels didn't fly open, although I did drop the tiny torch in terror... I mean... self defence.  Did you realise that you can crouch into almost a ball-like position when something is pounding your head in the dark?  

Eventually it stopped and with a thud the new black chook (now named Ninja) jumped onto the ground in the torch glow.  On realising what had happened, Ninja may have been thrown unceremoniously into the coup with the door slammed and locked behind her.   I do hope the neighbour's kids weren't in hearing range or their vocabulary would have increased markedly.   

Good grief, Andy ... who was the more frightened, you or the chook? Are the eggs worth the hassle?

The chicken and I did a pretty fine duet in F sharp Elaine. 

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