A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
I was in my bedroom getting ready for work when I heard a chicken. On Miller Farm, this is normal.
The clucking was coming from right outside my window. This is not normal.
I put shoes on and went outside to see which one of our silly birds had spent the night outside the coop. As I rounded the corner of the house, I spied the escapee – except there was one problem.
This was not my chicken.
My first thought was from the book Are You My Mother?
In the story, the little bird is searching for its mother when it comes upon a steam shovel. It quickly realized that this was not its mother.
I named the stray bird “Snort.”
Now you may wonder how I distinguish my chickens from others. It isn’t always easy but this bird was a barred rock, and we have none of that variety at the moment.
Being a Chicken Wrangler, I could not leave her out in the open so I scooped her up and carried her to our coop. She was very calm about the whole process, until I let out all our chickens.
You see, chickens are not particularly kind to strange birds. They chased the poor stray around the yard until she flew up to the fence.
I tried to catch her again to clip her wings so she wouldn’t meet Bella (the chicken-killing dachshund). Since I was unsuccessful, I left the dogs inside while I went to work.
When I got home, the first thing I did was check the backyard. Sticking out from a bush against the fence was a chicken head.
The stray bird had flown the coop again. She seemed to want to go back inside the fence so I caught her, clipped her wings and put her back with the others.
Meanwhile I have asked my friend with chickens if she is missing a barred rock. She is checking her chickens.
I may have to post a “Found Chicken” sign at the corner. Someone may be missing their chicken.
As you probably have noticed, some chickens actually have a personality that sets them apart as well as their outward appearance. Snort ended up flying the coop after a couple of days. I guess she was more of a free spirit. As far as catching chickens, I’m not usually successful but Snort was unaware of my “chicken wrangling” habits so she didn’t give me much of a challenge, thank goodness. Thanks for checking in on the farm. Glad to know there are other chicken lovers out there.
Sarah, that question was going to be my first: How did you know it was not your chicken? I have somewhere around 30 chickens. (I think) and would not know one chicken from another but I too do not have a barred rock. Very distinctive. I enjoy your stories because I often can relate but, catching a chicken, I don’t think so. I am too old to move that fast.