Taking care of my chickens is how I start every day now. In case you are thinking of bumming a morning off of me, I warn you, I am NOT a morning person. Nonetheless, I can't wait to get up and out to the coop. Even the incessant rain fails to deter me.
On most days, it's a peaceful start. I have two doors to my coop. Starting on the far end, I bring out a bowl of chicken feed to add to the feeder, sprinkled with some chicken scratch for added chicken fun. While the birds chow down at that end, I visit the front end and pull out the waterer. I hose it down, fill it up, and it's good to go for another day.
I head back in the house, grab a cup of coffee, rummage in the fridge for a treat for the chickens/my breakfast, and then head right back out . Before the screen door shuts, I've plopped a chair in front of the coop to take 10 minutes to chat with my chickens. They might just love me for the treats, but they have much to say, and are great listeners. I have two young roosters, both attempting to crow now, and well, it's just plain funny.
Yesterday morning, though, was not so peaceful. My choice of chicken treat/breakfast was grapes. Nice big juicy purple ones from Thriftway, my local hometown grocery store. I tossed 10 grapes in the coop and sat down to enjoy my coffee. Oh My Lord! Turns out my chickens will cut you for a grape. 7 chickens - 10 grapes --gone. As the pine shavings were settling, I noticed Spike, my favorite "lap chicken" making odd noises and shaking her head. Of course, she had a whole grape stuffed in her beak. Sigh - put the coffee down...
I tried to reach Spike from my end of the coop. No luck. By now, she is sounding really pathetic. I close that end of the coop and run to the other end, trying to catch the asphyxiating chicken. Even less luck, as Spike has decided I am trying to steal HER grape rather than SAVE her life.
There does not appear to be a chance that the grape is coming out or going down, so I do what The Chicken Lawyer has to do. I jump up in the coop, pin that chicken, and remove that grape. Thank you, Jesus! As I (triumphantly) exited the coop, my fluffy green robe doing its best impression of a chicken coop floor, I was doubly thankful to be living out in the country, because I have a feeling my old neighbors (Hi! Deb, Hi! Ann) would have certainly caught the whole show, and it would NOT have been pretty.
I was a bit flustered, feeling a little guilty for almost killing my favorite chicken, covered in pine shavings, and experiencing a side of glee at my "success." I closed the coop door, shook myself off, grabbed my coffee mug, and headed back in to the house to catch my 8AM conference call. After wrangling a chicken, I was sure I could handle negotiating a shareholder agreement! I'm just glad it wasn't a video conference.
Yes, tending the flock is good way to start the day, but maybe all of you with kiddos feel like that every morning! I'm lucky - I can shut the coop door!
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