The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm: The Great Pumpkin Pecking Challenge

There have been a number of ‘challenges’ that have circulated on the internet: the ice bucket challenge, eating contests, snorting cinnamon, and the infamous Tide Pod challenge. This year’s favourite in the chicken world was to scrape the top layer of a design into a pumpkin, exposing the white underneath, and then let your flock have at it and see what you end up with. Here’s Bitchin’ Chickens follower, Rhonda Hammon’s account of her flock’s encounter with The Big Orange Head.

DAY 1:

The Great Pumpkin Pecking Challenge (Ok, so I made that name up, but it really should be a thing y’all. And, yes, I am a southern sweetheart… y’all.)

I peeled a face on this pumpkin and placed it in the Hammons House-Silkie Habitat. (Yes, I just made that up, too. But it is what it is.). Finley, my oldest lady at 11 months old and top of the pecking order, immediately jumped out in fear screaming like Janet Leigh in the shower scene in Psycho because of the decapitated smiling head placed in her living space. She continued to jump out every time I put her back in until she finally gave up and huddled up with Adriana, her sister and fellow Silkie sister-wife of my Frizzle Cochin rooster Giblet Shark, in the opposite corner of their luxury ladies lounge/Silkie habitat as far away as they could get from their new horrifically haunting roommate. As I write this she is looking for another way out while Adriana has already followed sister-wife Finley and flown the coop.

DAY 2:

All is well, again, in the Hammons Silkie Habitat. Maybe better than ever. Finley and Adriana have made friends with the decapitated smiling head aka The Great Pumpkin, so much so they look like kissing cousins at an Alabama family reunion. They can’t keep their beaks off it! And like any other strong woman they have learned how to peck his eyes out in retaliation for scaring them yesterday. Meanwhile, Giblet, their previous main man, has perched for the evening and is sulking and pondering how this new orange man with a goofy face, no body, and no gorgeous frizzled feathers has captured the attention of both of his main squeezes. What am I saying? They are his only squeezes since he isn’t allowed within five feet of little baby Gisele. Meanwhile, it’s a sweet starry evening in the ladies lounge/Silkie habitat filled with the scent of pumpkin spice. Guess poor Giblet will have to work a little harder on his sidestepping dance routine to impress these ladies now.

DAY 3:

Giblet Shark, the Frizzle Cochin Bantam who thinks when I say ‘bantam’ I am actually calling him ‘batman’ has now entered the Hammons Silkie Habitat and made ‘friends’ with the decapitated smiling head aka The Great Pumpkin. Little does The Great Pumpkin know Giblet is not a friend but a… frenemy!  Batman, I mean Giblet Shark, has found a weakness in The Great Pumpkin and worked his way through The Great Pumpkin’s thick skull with the help of his sidekicks Catwoman aka his love interest Adriana, and Foxy Cleopatra aka Finley into the brain of The Great Pumpkin to begin his interrogation. (Ok, Foxy Cleopatra is a character from an Austin Powers movie not a Batman comic or movie. But we’ve always called Finley this since she was tiny because she carries herself like Foxy and because she is as beautiful as Beyonce so the name stuck.)

At times during the interrogation, while Catwoman is on the prowl, Batman stands guard while Foxy Cleopatra quickly works to pull out the inner seeds of knowledge from The Great Pumpkin’s cunning mind. She must work quickly while the seeds are still fresh before they rot away and become useless and before the subject discovers what the intentions of his new found fluffy ‘friends’.

Last night we thought we had come home to a crime scene. There were fresh blood droplets all over our floor. Then we noticed Giblet’s toenails were dripping blood and the apron of his diaper had a large bloodstain on it. At first my worst fear came to mind: Giblet had killed one of his offspring! I counted and found all seven were safe and accounted for. So we began clean up which took a good twenty minutes.

After we cleaned up Giblet we were able to see he had broken a nail into the quick. We applied pressure and got the bleeding to stop. I’m so glad we got home when we did or Batman might have become too ill to further his interrogation of the orange head which mysteriously appeared before him and his ladies just a few days ago.

Could The Great Pumpkin be the one who caused Batman/Giblet Shark this harm? Can Foxy Cleopatra get to the bottom of this if she can find the seed containing that information and what the true intentions of this orange creature are? Will the Frizzle Cochin bantam Giblet Shark ever discover the only cartoon hero he is named after and can truly identify with is not Batman but… Baby Shark? Stay tuned. Same bat-time. Same bat-channel.

DAY 5:

My grandson was in the hospital last night so I never did complete my self-titled Great Pumpkin Pecking Challenge. With everything hitting us left and right I didn’t noticed that Finley had worked day and night until there was nothing left but a pumpkin head skin – and a few stray pumpkin seeds. Needless to say my hens have nearly doubled in weight, and I still swear they’re smiling ear to ear!

Rhonda Hammons lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia where she lives with her husband, daughter and four house chickens. Many thanks for sharing her story and photos.

Featured photo credit: Heather Shelton

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