Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hens Again

Three new layers of responsibility were added to my life yesterday. (Puns are always intended here). Our friends, Kelly and Eileen Rogers, who raise chickens in Clay Springs, AZ, brought us a gift of three hens. We have missed the amusement of backyard poultry since Henny Penny was repossessed, but that's a tale for another time. We opened the cage in which they were transported and gave them the freedom of our large, fenced yard. They didn't know what to do with their newfound independence, congregating most of the day near the gate. Our initial attempts to herd them to the Chicken Catchatorium, where they'll have plenty of egg-room, and acquaint them with their new home were unsuccessful. They are so fast and elusive! My hens of days-gone-by would run to me and stand on my feet, making it easy for me to pick them up. These have been suddenly thrust into unfamiliar territory and are, in a word, perplexed. By the grace of good friends and other mysterious powers, they have been spared the cruelty of the butcher's blade and placed on permanent vacation at St. Holiday's Chicken Resort. Their henherd is a vegetarian, so they are in Fat City. If I can protect them from the large hawks, they will have a free-ranging, bug-rich life of chicken felicity.
Big Eyes and her family came to visit from the valley yesterday on the Day of Chicken Deliverance. She and Dave and Mikayla and the Lovely One and I were given quite a run-around last sunset, as we tried to chase down the hens and put them in the Catchatorium for the night. There was lots of leaping and lunging and grabbing and missing. We caught them one by one after much exertion and heavy-breathing. It was almost the death of the Ancient One. After all the running around, the hens will probably lay scrambled eggs today.

They don't have names yet. Each is a different variety, but they huddle together as friends.
The Lovely One is in charge of chicken appellation and photography. My job is to feed them, to water them, to protect them and otherwise look to their health and welfare, and to come running at their every peck and caw. I am their servant.

Barred Rock Hen
Pearl-White Leghorn