This week’s edition of The Funny Farm features a trio of observations about life with chickens from guest contributor Tiffany Steinkuehler.
A zombie raccoon is ruining my chickens’ life. It’s been hanging out on our property for weeks now. I haven’t been free-ranging my birds, and the coop is rock-solid, so all it’s killed is one of my son’s bean sprouts. I’ve been careful not to leave any food or trash out in all that time; I assumed it would move on.
Yesterday I saw the raccoon dead on the highway in front of my house. It was there when I left in the morning, and there when I got home in the afternoon. Kind of bittersweet, because I hate for an animal to die, but I was glad not to worry about it anymore.
This morning the dead raccoon is gone from the highway, and something succeeded in getting into my trash. My husband insists there are many raccoons in the world, but I know the truth. That evil creature reanimated and is tormenting us from beyond the grave. There will be no defeating it now. Beware friends, of zombie raccoons, the latest madness sweeping our nation.
I’m watching a true crime show and when the authorities showed up to question the suspect, he was like “Hang on, I need to let my chickens out. Stand back.” And then he bawked at his chickens as they came out into the yard. I’m thinking he can’t be the killer, right?
I feel like all flocks of all sizes, contain the same core group of hens. Do you have these? Did I miss any?
The six chickens in every flock:
1) The big white one. This one is like a billboard that tells the whole world, “I’ve got chickens over here!” When you walk out the door in the morning, or pull in your driveway in the afternoon, you’ll always see the big white hen and know instantly that at least part of your flock is alive and well.
2) The favorite. People who don’t have chickens can’t understand that, just like people, some of them are special. One member of the flock will always be smarter, sweeter, braver or just plain more likable than all the others. She’s the one who keeps you chickening through the tough times. The one who keeps you from giving the whole flock away. The day she stops laying, you’ll find you don’t love her any less.
3) The little, noisy one. Tiny-chicken syndrome is real, and you’ll never find a more confident bird than, say, an Old English Game hen. She may not be at the very top of the pecking order, but holds her own with hens twice her size, and she runs her mouth all day long.
4) The mean one. Since they all have their own personalities, it stands to reason one of them is a jerk. It’s not her fault, probably, and you love all your chickens, but if worse came to worst, you know who you’re eating first.
5) The shy one. This black sheep of the coop usually has some distinguishing feature like feathered feet or poofy cheeks, or she’s small without a big attitude to balance her out. She eats last, sometimes sleeps alone, and gets pecked at from time to time, so you have to become her advocate and BFF in order to sleep at night.
6) The nosy one. When you open a door, she’s the first one through it, and when you’re doing something, she needs to know what and why. Her neck is usually craned and her head is usually tilted, because she’s looking for answers and YOU can’t be trusted to know what you’re doing.
Thanks to Tiffany Steinkuehler for sharing her stories, used with permission. Featured photo credit: Riotfest
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