or, So Help Me God, I didn’t know chickens could fly so well.
OK, so, first of all, my mother keeps chickens. She’s not a farmer or anything; she lives within the city limits of a major metropolis, but the city ordinances allow her to keep a half-dozen hens, so she does. They keep her supplied with eggs, and she sells what she doesn’t need to a few of her neighbors.
Well, yesterday, she was out in the barn (it was originally built as a stand-alone garage, but it’s never held a car in my lifetime, and instead mostly holds livestock and agricultural tools, so we call it the barn) getting the eggs, and saw that one of the hens was getting very badly henpecked by the others-- She was actually bald and bleeding in a big spot near her tail. Mom’s not sure if the hen got injured some other way, or if the others did that to her, but either way, she had to get the poor thing separated to heal up. So she got out the windowed box she uses to carry them in the car when needed (mostly just when buying new ones-- They only live a few years), and brought her into the house, up to her bedroom (so she could keep the dog away). To make sure the chicken was comfortable, she put some cedar chips, some feed, and one of the watering dishes in with her.
That was a short term solution, but let’s face it, there are a lot of reasons you don’t want a chicken in your bedroom. So today when I was over, we got out the old dog kennel, and I set it up in the basement. I come upstairs to tell Mom it’s ready, and she goes up to get the hen.
Except that it turns out that she had splashed her water dish all over the bottom of the box, and cardboard can only take so much. Mom makes it halfway down the bottom flight of steps, and the bottom of the box gives way. Out comes cedar chips, feed, water, egg (yes, she laid since she was brought in) and chicken. The chicken flies the entire length of our very long living room, straight over the lamp next to the chair and nearly over my head, before scuttling into a corner in a bookshelf. This, of course, sends the afore-mentioned detritus even more scattered than it was by the fall itself. Fortunately, the hen has now voluntarily cornered herself, so (after much squawking and flapping) Mom was able to gather her up again and finish taking her (in her arms) the rest of the way to the basement.
So, that was our bit of excitement for the day.