Monday, June 15, 2009

These CHICKENS Are Making Me Crazy

Picture me as George Costanza rehearsing his line for the Woody Allen movie that was shooting on Jerry's street. How many different ways can I emphasize that sentence? No pretzels for me, baby! It's chickens! And they're not making me thirsty. That's Farmer H who has the insatiable thirst for chickens.

Forgive me for venturing into fowl territory again today. Farmer H's obsession is a burr underneath my saddle. No wind beneath my wings from HH. While Farmer H may think it's nothing to buy 10 more chickens, his actions have upset our little ecosystem here in Hillmomba. He thought he was buying hens, but when he got home, he discovered that he had 4 roosters in the bunch. Let the buyer beware, I say. If Farmer H was ignorant enough to buy them, he deserves what he got. Hillmomba has turned out to be quite the melting pot for chicken immigrants. Along with the leghorns and the Rhode Island Red and Survivor, the multicolored rooster, we have now welcomed 2 guinea hens, 2 more Reds, 2 pepper-speckled thingies we don't know what they are, and 4 black roosters with pants on. That's what it looks like. They have feathers on their feet. The Pony says HH told him they are shelties. I thought that was a kind of dog. Then again, maybe Farmer H thought he was buying some dogs. I'm sure Miss Ann could shine some light on my chicken buddies. Her mom is a well-known avian aficionado.

Now we don't just get those giant leghorn white eggs. We get two smooth brown eggs a day, and two itty bitty light-brown guinea eggs, and a small white egg. Right now we're still at eight eggs per day, so I suppose some of those leghorns are withholding because of the uninvited guests. I know they didn't suddenly switch to laying brown eggs or tiny eggs.

What are we going to do with all of these eggs? The eggs never stop. It's like Newman with the mail. It never ends. There's always more and more and more. But I'm not going to stash them in a storage locker. It's not like we're a family of body-builders training for the Hillbilly Universe pageant, each of us drinking a dozen raw eggs every morning. No. We do not even partake of the chicken-fruit on a regular basis. I would say less than once a month we had eggs for breakfast. The only sure thing was Christmas morning. Now I cook them for The Pony for lunch. He likes them best. And therein lies the problem. The Pony also likes the chickens best.

I have never seen a child so attached to a farm animal. That didn't sound quite right. But The Pony loooooves him some chickens. He checks for eggs three times a day. He is constantly asking if I have anything to feed the chickens. They like bread and cereal and lettuce and strawberry tops and corn cobs and just about anything you throw over the fence. Which is the next problem. The fence. Farmer H has not put a top on his new chicken pen. The old chickens learned not to try and fly out because they banged their head on the wire ceiling. The new chickens are regular Houdinis of the fowl world. They fly the coop at will. The Pony is beside himself. Last night, he and Farmer H put one back in the pen twice, but it got out again. It doesn't help that every time they throw it in, Survivor attacks it.

This morning The Pony was upset because one of the black pants chickens was sitting on top of the pen. He snuck around so as not to scare it, until it jumped back in. Then he sat on the porch for 30 minutes to make sure it was all right.

When we came back from picking up the #1 son at school, a black pants chicken was way up in the front yard. Tank the beagle was stalking it. The Pony stressed out. He went in the back door and straight out the front door in an effort to herd that chicken back into the pen. His plan did not work. It went into the woods. I told him that we know it can fly, and it can get up in a tree if the dogs get after it. That did not assure him very much. He went out twice with Farmer H after supper and put it back in the pen. It was already out again when they came back in the Mansion. Farmer H tried to explain that we didn't want anything to happen to the black pants chickens, but "They're used to being roosters, and they get out." I have no freakin' idea what he meant by that. The Pony nodded his head like he understood, but I think it was just a fit of nervousness thinking about their impending death.

Hillmomba is a cold, cruel place for chickens. The Pony needs to grow thicker skin. And Farmer H needs to bring his chicken condo up to code.


Chickadee said...

Ohhh boy. Yeah, I sense impending disaster in the chicken world, especially if the condo isn't brought up to code in a hurry.

What does HH have to say about all these eggs? Is he going to sell them? Or is he going to make chicken pot pie?

This is beginning to remind me of the movie Chicken Run.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Farmer H has been giving some eggs away at work. Sometimes I think maybe he's just buying a live type of dog food.

DeadpanAnn said...

The name of those black speckled ones is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't...quite...remember. If it doesn't come to me in the middle of the night, I'll have to check with the chicken momma.

When you have too many eggs, it's time to have chicken 'n dumplin's. (That's also what you do when you get an unwanted rooster in the bunch.)

DeadpanAnn said...

I looked them up, and they're officially called Plymouth Rock or Barred Rocks. My mom called them something with the word "rock" in it, but I don't think it was Plymouth...Now I'm gonna be thinking about it all night...dammit.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I knew I could count on you, what with your fowl upbringing. I noticed that the black pants chickens only have pants on the roosters. The hens are barelegged, but otherwise look the same.

DeadpanAnn said...

Dominickers. That's what my momma calls the Plymouth Rock/Barred Rocks. Dominickers. But I think they may actually be 2 different breeds.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I will have to go inspect Farmer H's speckled chickens. They looked like the Barred Rocks on the Wiki page, and the eggs looked the same. But on the Wiki Dominique page, the pattern of feathers looked more like ours, although the eggs looked too orange, not brownish pink.

Oh, what a tangled web he weaves, when Farmer H is ripped off by auction chicken thieves.