Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chickens in the house

The chickens have been outside for 4 nights. Every night so far I have had to put them to bed. No, I'm not reading them stories or rocking them- I have been shoving them in their hen house to safety. They prefer to pile up like puppies right up against the gate of their run. Everything I have read, and witnessed- says chickens put themselves to bed inside at dusk. Not these girls.

I don't think I have any chicken eating anything roaming around here, but I'd sure hate to find out the hard way, so into the house they go.

My sister K was here last week, causing our family to gather more frequently than usual, dinners together most nights on my porch- in view of the chickens not going to bed. I found myself chicken wrangling with an audience. And a peanut gallery. I grew less patient nightly, and last night in the heat of taking things personally, groused about how the chickens hate me.

This I have noticed in my brief study of things chicken: I understand why the term 'chicken' is used as to describe one who is fearful. I don't think chickens are afraid- quite brave in certain circumstances- but their reaction to things outside of their norm is with a large degree of skepticism and a dose of jerky comedic gestures. Oh. My. God. Anewwaterdispenser. WHAT.DO.WE.DO?

Tonight I watched. Hopeful as they were going in and out of the house during the day. At dusk they gathered in front of the door of their house and milled about. Calling to mind outside the church before the service starts. One popped in, another followed. One popped out. And so on. Eventually they were all in. I went down and shut their door- they just purred a chicken pur and I imagine cursed me for closing the door on their view. They still sleep in a pile- not a roost as its been suggested they should- but they're in the house. Doing what their supposed to for the most part. Which I find ridiculosly thrilling.

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