Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Chickens on the Loose

Writing again after a week off. The prompt was “Chickens on the loose.”

Chickens on the loose. Does anyone know what to do? How do you catch them? How did it happen that having chickens is now a non-farm thing? Dogs get out. Cats get out. Of course, the chickens got out. That’s what animals do. And now someone has to figure out how to corral (is that the right word) a bunch of noisy chickens. Or is it a gaggle? Whatever. The chickens are on the loose and someone needs to take responsibility for catching them and returning them to their handmade, homemade, chicken coop. And then fix the damn thing so this doesn’t happen again.There’s a reason I live in a city and it isn’t because city dwellers can own chickens. It’s because I don’t want to live in a suburb or on a farm. Nothing against farms, I’m just not that kind of guy. Suburbs? Not my thing. Never have been, never will be. Tried it, been there, done that. Hated nearly every minute of it. Do they allow backyard chickens in the suburbs? If not, that might be their only redeeming quality.

So there’s chickens on the loose and some joker is asking why did the chicken cross the road. Haha. Not exactly an original joke at this point.

Did you know that chickens can run faster than most humans? I’ve witnessed it and now I’ve researched it. Chickens might not be super fast but they can run faster than the average human. Can you run 9 mph? Doubtful.

Did you know that if you Google how to catch chickens you will get pages of results? Chickens really are a thing. Homesteaders seem to be into chickens. HOmesteaders are allegedly into living a simple life. Are chickens considered simple? Based on the frantic antics of my neighbor, chickens look like they require a lot of work. More work than owning a pet like a dog, cat, fish, or a Guinea pig. Homesteaders are self sufficient. You want to be self sufficient? Live in a city where the rent sucks up your salary and you learn to be self sufficient out of necessity. Reuse, recycle, shop the sales. You figure out which restaurants have the portions which provide a meal for two nights. And, except for my dim witted neighbor with the chickens, you learn what kind of pets are best for city living. If it’s safety you’re looking for, get a dog. If it’s companionship, get a dog or cat. If you just feel a need to have another living being in your apartment, get fish, hamster, Guinea pig, maybe even a bird. Except a bird might be too noisy. But, chickens, really? Why? For the eggs, he said. I kind of get that. Based on what he paid for them and what he spent on the coop supplies (obviously not enough - he should have bought the real thing and then maybe it would work), the money he spends on feed, and the amount of time he spends feeding, cleaning, and chasing, I would say his return on investment is in the negative. Which again makes me ask, why own chickens in a city? Get a pet you can pet or one that can’t escape, like a fish. And fish are easy to dispose of when they reach their inevitable end.

Me? I’ll sit back and watch him chase and curse. One internet site said to use a lasso. Haha! That could be entertaining to watch. The homesteader says you have a few options. You can let them go free range and they’ll come back on their own. Yeah, that will go over well here. Not. You can train them like a dog, to come home at night. Uh huh. You can teach them to come for treats, along with a signal like your voice. They say to use yummy treats like watermelon or mealworms. Mealworms! Let’s move on to another suggestion she gives, use a poultry pole, kind of like a crook you would use for sheep. Um, remember what I mentioned about speed. Having a pole might not help you much if the chicken is outrunning you. Unless you’re in an enclosed space and have good reflexes.

You could try to use a net, if you’re into inhumane treatment of animals and birds.

The list of suggestions goes on and on. Bottom line, if you insist on having chickens, how about you have a decent quality chicken coop and you figure out how to access it without letting one out.

My neighbor the wannabe farmer or homesteader or cool dude just gave up. The chickens have left the neighborhood. Hopefully they will come back. I could use the entertainment.