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The Chicken Whisperer

This is a post from a while back, I thought of it since I am going to pick up 25 baby chicks this afternoon. I just never learn.

We have chickens. Lot’s of chickens. We ordered 10 chickens for Little Buckaroo’s 4-H project this year. I was excited, fresh eggs for the family and the extras we could sell at the Farmer’s Market.

Yea, best laid plans. The 4-H truck delivers the chickens throughout the state to the different 4-H clubs. We were the last stop. There were 100 left on the truck. Yea, we brought home 100 baby chicks.

Thankfully, there were area 4-H’ers that needed chickens so we ended up with 28 chickens.

Then Lucky decided that he liked chicken, so we were down to 24. Bad dog.

They get to go out on fresh grass in the afternoons so now I have to chain Lucky (appropriate name because he is lucky to be alive) up. Then, at dusk when they go in, I let him off the chain.

The chickens started laying eggs the week of the last Farmer’s Market for the season. So, now I get about 22 eggs a day. Call me if you need eggs, cluck, cluck.

Oh yea, the chicken trauma. So, whenever Big Buckaroo goes out of town there is inevitably going to be a chicken trauma. A few weeks ago, I heard a bit of a ruckus at about 10:30 p.m. and went out with a flashlight. All looked well until I looked up here (see photo below).

There were 3 hens up there roosting because they did not make it back into the hen house before I closed the door. I know, I really should count the girls. I spent the next 30 minutes in my pajamas with a boat oar trying to coax them down and get them in the hen house for the night. I kept looking around to make sure I was not on candid camera. Ugh, life on a mini-farm.

So, last weekend while Big Buckaroo was out of town hunting, I went to get eggs and there were only five in there with all the rest broken. Yea, I forgot to get them the day before and someone benefited from my absentmindedness, glad someone benefits from it. Plus, there were some wing feathers on the ground, uh oh, not good.

The next day I made sure before dark that all the girls were inside and all the eggs were picked up. I heard a ruckus at about 11:20 p.m. Lucky was inside with me so he could guard the family during the night (if he could hear anything over his snoring). It was the rooster and a couple of hens making it sound like a Desperate Housewives cat fight.

I went outside, did not see anything. I started back in, turned around and looked up. In a tree by the chicken coop sat…..

a possum! (no, I did not take that picture, I was running the other way!)

What to do???? Where is Big Buckaroo???? I want my mommy! (not that she could help, she is afraid of chickens)

I went inside and got a pellet gun, I thought I would scare it out of the tree and maybe Lucky would run it off. Did not work. Neither did the rock I threw up at him.

At this point I am thinking how did I go from Memphis chic to chick defender?

I knew that if I did not take care of this situation I would have some dead chickens in the morning. So, I went inside to get the shotgun. Not a good idea because I am scared of it kicking back and bruising my shoulder. But, I was being bold, I had to defend Tara. Oh wait, I am not Scarlett.

I went back out with the gun, aimed, then stopped, talked to myself a while, aimed again. This went on for about 3 minutes. I finally got up the nerve, took off the safety and…..click. There was not a shell in it. I could not go through that again. So I walked back to put the gun up and thought about what Big Buckaroo would do.

Well, he would have put a shell in the shotgun, but anyway, I decided to get the small animal trap, put some dog food in it and hope for the best.

The next morning I went out and SUCCESS. I had trapped a possum, I am a real country girl now. Just call me Ellie Mae. Woohoo!

Next predicament ~ my husband was not home to relocate it, I was surely not picking that cage up, have it hiss at me and risk it rushing out and attacking me. What to do, what to do????

Thanks park maintenance for giving ugly, nasty possum a new home about 5 miles from us!

Going to make eggs Benedict,
The Chicken Whisperer

***Disclaimer: We are very good to our animals, all of them, from the rabbit to the dog to the goats to the chickens to the brand new Texas brown tarantula that I would rather not be good to, but I am. Just had to say that, there are some crazy folks out there who would want to cause a ruckus over me permanently eliminating (which I did not) a possum that was about to kill my chickens.


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