Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Long Day

with 4 comments

When I finished fixing the winch cable on the ATV after work Monday, Cyndie helped me get the plow re-mounted so I could clean up the driveway from the morning drift adventure. It had been a long day, so I made short work of the task and headed inside to warm up.

Cyndie asked if I thought it was late enough that the chickens would be in the coop yet. That’s code for, “Will you be the one to go down and close the chickens in for the night?”

I spotted them after I’d taken just a few steps off the driveway. They weren’t inside, they were on the manure pile in the compost area.

I suppose it was warmer footing than standing in the snow. Cyndie had mucked out the stalls earlier in the afternoon and the chickens seemed to take a liking to the fresh addition on top of the snow.

After taking that picture of them, I tried to get the hens to follow me to the coop. They didn’t fall for it, I think because to get there on the shoveled pathway, required starting in the opposite direction of the coop. I got the impression their little chicken brains weren’t processing the logic.

Heck, I’ve even seen the horses, wise as we know them to be, appear to get stuck when an escape involved going away from the direction they ultimately want to achieve.

I walked to the coop without them. To waste some time while waiting for them to figure out the escape route, I started breaking trails in the deep snow around the area. Plodding down a trail that heads toward the shop garage, it occurred to me to open a path between the coop and the compost piles, for the chickens to use. One pass through the deep snow didn’t do much in the way of packing it down to make it easy for bird feet, so this didn’t offer an immediate shortcut. It did, however, bring me up behind the chickens in a way that naturally moved them off the pile in the opposite direction from the coop.

Once I had them moving, I just kept the pressure on, and created a little conga line going down the path toward their nighttime shelter, with me leading from the rear. It was pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

They marched right up the modified ramp (post-possum-crashing incident) and I was able to slide the door shut behind them. Chickens were ready to roost.

It was an entertaining end to my surprisingly long day.



Written by johnwhays

February 27, 2019 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Re:I got the impression their little chicken brains weren’t processing the logic … Of course from the chickens’ point of view, you weren’t communicating in their language with your ‘little human brain’. That said, you ended up playing the rooster in the end. Hint: you have to flap your ‘wings’ strongly. If you have a cap in one of your hands that you hit against your knee, c/flapping, they get the message. In sum, it sounds as if Cyndie sent you out to work on interspecies communication etc.:-) Of course, she might have explained the process but we men have to learn the hard way…. Great Love to you both!

    Ian Rowcliffe

    February 27, 2019 at 8:23 am

    • Yeah, you know, I’m pretty sure I communicate unconsciously with them without even realizing it, when I am in my head space thinking human-centrically. I suppose that is where I’m writing from, as well.
      Just like the horses, I expect the chickens understand me and what the situations are better than I do. Thank you for the love!


      February 27, 2019 at 8:44 am

      • Well, we form petty judgements from afar: it is something else to get it right down on the ground in the heat or cold – in your case – of the moment. Once my brother saved me from drowning in an old quarry, I was just sinking and it was getting colder and colder and my brain literally began to freeze. He simply reached out a helping hand – as you did here in Portugal – and got me back to the surface. Sharing brotherly love makes the difference in life, dear brother.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        February 27, 2019 at 9:08 am

      • Wow. Powerful stuff! Thank you.


        February 27, 2019 at 9:25 am

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