Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Their goal in life is to die

Over the past few days, I've realized that the chickens' only goal in life is to die in the most improbable fashion possible. Finally, last night, one of the Dollies realized that goal. Godspeed, little idiot.

Let me back up. The chickens used to be ground chickens, but as they've matured they've learned to fly a little better / more often, and they'd been flying out of the pasture. So three nights ago, I snuck in the coop and clipped the wings of 12 of the 13. Number 13 was somewhere outside - she'd flown over the fence and didn't trust me enough to come back through the gate, and of course she couldn't remember how she got outside in the first place.

Anyway, the first 11 chickens went smoothly, with each hen getting progressively louder as I picked her up. The 12th chicken pitched an enormous fit - she screamed like she was being gutted, pecked and clawed at me, and flapped her wings. But she was a banty so this was really not effective and I got her wing clipped anyway. I put her back on the perch, but she screamed and flapped and fell down. I picked her up, she exploded again, and I thought well fuck it, you can sleep on the floor then.

The next morning I came out before dawn and fed, then came back out shortly after dawn to start digging that trench. I heard a shriek as I walked over to the coop to let the chickens out, and when I came around the corner I saw the same idiot, still lying on the floor, getting pecked. Seriously, her flockmates had decided she was dead and were pecking at her head. I shooed them away, picked her up, and took her in the house. I couldn't find anything wrong with her (other than some tiny peck marks on her head) so I took her back out and set her free. She limped off. I consulted my more knowledgeable chicken friends and left her alone - the next day, she was totally fine. I really think she wrenched her leg fighting me, then laid down to die that night.

I also caught the stray that night, clipped her wing, and returned her to her "friends."

Yesterday I walked out of the barage with a piece of the box, to test-fit it, and one of the Speckled Jims was sitting in the fucking stock tank like a damn duck. I fished her out, and she was shivering, so I took her in the house and blow dried her. Yes, I sat on the floor with a chicken and a blow drier under a towel and marvelled at the absurdity of my life. She also recovered fully.

Last night two things happened: I forgot to put the chickens in the coop, and it froze. So all the nonheated water had a skim of ice on it. So...

This morning, one of the full size Dollies was floating in the stock tank, dead as can be. Go to the light, little hen!

I'm going to chicken wire up one of the sides of paddock and move all the retards to THEIR OWN PEN. I'm sure their deathwishes will eventually triumph over me, but I'll make it harder for them to die, anyway.


  1. Just had that same scenario with one of my hens. http://collieful-living.blogspot.com/2010/10/bad-deal.html

  2. the creative ways to seek death, i'm sorry chickies but this is really good blog material!

    i hope you get eggs.


  3. "I have a fantastic Tennessee Walking Horse named Dixie, a wonderful Labrador, two cats, three goats, and 13 chickens. It's a long story, but aren't they all?"

    Time to edit.
    RIP little hen.

    Amazing how stupid they can be at times, and they fact they waste no time trying to get a warm meal, even if it was not dead yet.


  4. Chickens are amazingly stupid, and yet they have their moments of brilliance when it comes to creative things that they shouldn't be doing... like trying to swim. It makes me wonder how their ancestors ever survived in the wild long enough to breed.

  5. Still laughing!!
    My SIL once spent way to much $ on this special ram. It was so special that it stuck it's head in the water trough & forgot to take it out. :)

  6. I had thought about getting chickens.... Notice this is past tense now Horses are hard enough--I don't need more suicidal animals!! LOL!

  7. Another inevitable thing about chickens is that once they start laying, the good ones will die and/or kill themselves, and the bad layers will live forever!

  8. Wait.

    You used a blowdryer on a chicken?!!!

    I'm still laughing about THAT.

  9. I am laughing hysterically, but I feel terrible about doing so!!

    Poor little hen... you can only do so much to save them!

    Hopefully the rest of them don't meet the same fate!

  10. I'd make the separate pen a priority.

    Horses are good enough at attempting suicide on their own -- I don't think you want Dixie to pick up any ideas from the chickens.

  11. Now you have another line for your epitaph!
    A good woman, who blow-dried her chickens.
    Laughed out loud. Good thing the coffee was still on the desk. You caught me by surprise. :)

    Dang. I wanted that line. Now I have to think of another one...

  12. Chickens in AK can be fun also. I've lost three entire flocks (15-18 chickens in each flock) to predators.

    A bald eagle tried to take a 25 pound turkey out of a 6'high chain link dog pen. The eagle failed miserably because it couldn't get enough lift to fly back over the fence with the heavy turkey.

    I had a chicken named Feets because her feet froze off when she nested in the water bucket in February.

    The dog musher who lives around the corner really appreciates my stupid chickens.

  13. Ahh...chickens. What is it with them? It's those little heads...they don't hold many brains. Sheesh. I found one of my roosters dead in the creek this weekend. Stupid thing. It's not like they don't have about 500 water sources around the farm close to their coop...but noooooo....he had to try to get down to the creek to drink and freakin' drowned. It's a good thing I have too many roosters any way. :D


Feel free to comment!