Today we had one of those moments. Or actually about 30 minutes, if anyone was counting. My 3 year old daughter, E, loves to play with the young chickens - I call them teenagers, an awkward phase somewhere in between adorable baby chicks and mature egg-laying chickens. We have 14 that age right now (or maybe 13 after this story). They are in a separate enclosure within the larger chicken "complex." They need to be by themselves because they are still on chick food (rather than full grown chicken food), plus they would probably be picked on by the roosters if we let them all mix together at this point.
E playing with her "babies"
So as I was saying... E gets excited to play with the teenage chickens, and today she forgot to close the door behind herself. She said rather calmly, "oh Mommy, they're getting out" and I turned to see a rush of chickens cramming themselves through the door. Luckily I've gotten good at censoring my words before they come out of my mouth. If you've ever had a 3 year old, it won't surprise you to know that she stood there and watched them go, fascinated, without thinking of closing the door to stop them. Why can't these things happen on a Saturday? Does it really have to be when I'm the adult in charge of the farm? Even calling myself an adult in charge of a farm is just plain comical. The next 15+ minutes involved me inside of the chicken house, trying to herd a bunch of teenage chickens (which is probably about as easy as herding actual teenagers) back to their room. I tasked E with holding the door open but not allowing any more to get out (a few stayed behind, good girls!). Instead she screamed every time one got near her and closed the door. After repositioning her and chasing the crazy chickens around in circles with a long stick, I finally got them back in - one by one. Well... except for one. She is hiding behind a broody hen (a hen that is in a hormonal cycle to hatch eggs. Even though we've removed the eggs from underneath her, she still won't get up until the cycle is over). I really don't like to pick up the chickens, the feathers creep me out, so she's still hiding. Birds who get stuck in the garage have the same effect on me. I have good intentions to help, but I involuntarily freak out when they get too close (probably the same innate reaction that caused E to keep slamming the door). When M gets home from work he's going to have to grab a couple of chickens. Oh, and the whole time this was going on, my son was standing on the other side of the chicken wire whining "Mama, mama, NO chickies!!!!"
When I became a stay at home mom 4 years ago, it never occurred to me that I would have funny chicken stories. I was also a bit surprised to hear myself nonchalantly tell my daughter when we got back to the house, "Go get a washcloth and get the poop off your foot."
You know, I say I'm glad there are no cameras in the chicken house, but I would totally be the next YouTube sensation if someone had caught today on film.