Chickens don't belong in houses. Baby chicks? Sure. CHICKENS, no. Just no.
Except it's still butt-cold at night here on our little hill, so we don't keep the chickens outside then. That and the coop is in six pieces.
So, my dashing prince of a husband made the run for them this weekend. It isn't QUITE finished, but close enough.
Each morning we gather the chickens out of the wire dog kennel in my dining room where they spend the night, carry them out-of-doors to their portable run and shove them in.
It's fool-proof, except when it's not.
We also have to stick a feeder and waterer in there because there aren't enough bugs in their limited "free-range" run to fill up the growing bellies of these fat girls.
And ^^^that is where we got into trouble yesterday.
After carefully flinging the girls under the run, we realized (by "we" I mean me, and five super helpful children) we'd forgotten the food and water.
No matter, just lift and stick.
Water... water... "STICK THE WATER UNDER THE WALL OH MY GOODNESS. SPENCER!"
Then, little Pecky Becky who is Derek's chicken, ducked her little fat chicken butt under the tiniest little space and was suddenly a real-live-free-range chicken.
And she was gonna enjoy it. She.ran.for.it.
Thus began the chase of the century. Four children, running in all directions as that white poultry dodged them all. Miriam was SCREAMING at having been plunked rudely down in the grass.
"Stop chasing her! Stop!" I hollered.
No one stopped.
For a stupid bird, she was pretty smart. She headed straight for the woods. And my dear sweet children headed straight for her.
Well. Becky picked the prickliest, thorniest spot of our yard to hide.
The boys were determined to rescue her from her fun. She wasn't interested.
After chasing her even deeper in the woods (oh the crying as they scratched themselves), they FINALLY realized that there wasn't anything to do but listen to MOMMY. LISTEN TO MOMMY.
Spencer went left, Henry went right, clapping their hands, to scare her away from heading up the hill over the stone wall and joining the wild turkey clan that resides up there.
Oliver began to cry again when I dare suggest that we wait until she decided to come home.
Finally that feather-brained dinner on feet realized that life wasn't that great in the wild (Luckily she's never seen "Chicken Run") and came on out, while the little boys clapped and clapped to scare her down the hill.
Eventually she wandered out and right up to me and cocked her head to one side as if to say, "Hey, don't I know you?"
"Yes you stupid bird! I'm your momma!" A slow chase ensued where Oliver headed her off and I grabbed her from behind. Clutching her to my side I lifted the run and shoved.
Miriam was rescued, grass dug out of her angry mouth. Oliver was STILL crying but about how scratched he'd gotten.
"Good morning, Mary!" I called to our only neighbor, who was enjoying her morning coffee on the porch, watching EVERY SECOND of our chase.
"Morning!" she called back jovially. She was laughing. Of course.
Then all into the house to start school.
Except I had lost Spencer somewhere.
A quick yard sweep showed he'd gotten himself completely stuck in the brambles. The harder he tried to free himself, the more stuck he became.
I saved him, never fear And my badge of honor is that I'm completely covered in scratches.
All because of Derek's chicken.