If you think that chickens are no maintenance pets and you can toss some scratch on the ground and collect eggs once a day, then you’re in for a big surprise. Chickens are magnets for predators, parasites, injuries and illnesses. Sometimes it feels like if it’s not one thing then it’s another. The life of a chicken keeper is marked by lurching from one accident, tragedy or close call to another. That’s why The Funny Farm exists: to bring some levity into our lives and remind us all that at the end of the day our birds are worth all the sweat, tears and heartache.
Escape Artists: Grant Dobro
Hooterville News Flash: Fowl escapees on the lam. Old rumours through the cluck underground finally surfaced hours ago of a planned breakout. It was suggested that pent-up tension over pecking order reform and poor food choice options are to blame. An interview with an on ground rooster could not be arranged due to extreme confusion. A spokesperson did report that this action could affect egg production, but stated this outcome would not be certain until dusk. Evidence of gate tampering is not being ruled out at this time. Thanks to an alert witness, no injuries have been reported to date. The pen warden could not be reached for comments due to privacy concerns. The military are on high alert in the event the escapees become armed. It would seem a security breach was also apparent and those concerned will certainly address this. More news at 5 o’clock. Hank Corncob. Fox News.
There’s Poop In My Ear: Holly Smith
Word of advice: If the power goes out and you decide to cuddle chicks to keep them warm, do not, I repeat, do not let one try to roost on the side of your head.
I did exactly that last night: laid down on the bathroom floor with some blankets and let the chicks out of their crate to try and cuddle them. Two of them cuddled between my arms and the blanket, the third one decided to jump up and sit on the side of my head and before I could move her she pooped right in my ear. Luckily the power wasn’t off long. I cleaned it with peroxide and Google was no help. Don’t search “What to do when a chicken poops in your ear?” because there were no answers.
Miracle Hen: Brooke Parker Bryan
Here is the craziest story you will hear today. When I went out to lock up the chickens our Mrs. Hathaway was missing. I searched all over for three days and couldn’t find her. I assumed that she had become a snack for a hawk or fox.
Fast forward to today with me flipping over this flowerpot and her walking out.
That chicken had no food, water, light, warmth/cool, room to move, nothing – but she still walked right to the coop and was clucking happily with her flock. I can only assume that she ate the eggs she laid in order to survive since there were no eggs/eggshells in the pot. She must’ve drunk the drops of water that puddled on the ground. My best guess as to how she ended up in the pot is that she jumped on the lip and it just flipped over on top of her.
She is resting and, other than some bent tail feathers, seems perfectly fine.
Missing Hen: Tricia Sutherland
I’ve been out of town for work and yesterday I noticed my blue Ameraucana, Rogue, was missing. My husband has been taking care of them and didn’t notice because I have three similar looking hens. I went through my backyard ring cameras until the last day I saw her on there and it was eight days of footage! She waddled over to a pile of extra chicken fencing and a tarp that I use to cover the run when it rains and literally just disappeared. The day before one of my neighbours had posted that our neighbourhood alligator was spotted eating some large bird by the pond. I thought nothing of it until I got home and my girl was missing. So before I freaked out, my final weak attempt at finding her was to go unfold the tarp and move the fencing.
I unrolled a half dead, soaking wet chicken. I thought she was dead, but then she blinked so I scooped her up and ran inside. Towel swaddled and syringed some egg yolk. She can’t walk right now really because she’s too weak but she is eating and drinking on her own and currently bunking in my bathtub with lots of vitamins and supplements.
I don’t know how in the world she got stuck in that tarp but I am shocked she was alive after eight freakin’ days.
Naughty Hen: Arien Cynthia Errante
Is there anything that can be done about a totally bratty, spoiled and obnoxiously whiny hen? She is one of my seven-month-old Australorps, healthy and is my best layer. Whenever she hears someone in the kitchen or has to stay in the run due to bad weather she turns into a Dorothy Vader. It drives the neighbors and us up the living walls! We shake a broom at her, but she still keeps it up. Whenever she gets a treat or snack she stops. We are afraid our other three girls will try to copy her. She is not broody, just very naughty.
Catlike Chickens: Kat Phoenix
When you get chickens people don’t warn you how catlike they can be, getting up high in places they don’t belong and knocking stuff off shelves so it breaks. And I was so worried when I couldn’t find them at dusk earlier. Now I know why.
My Hen Gave Me A Heart Attack: Amanda Freeman
My husband pulled up the driveway smiling and said, “Hey, you have chicks running around on the roof”. Huh? What? Well we did in fact have 15 little chicks on the carport roof. Nine years of having chickens and this is a first. We have low hanging branches on that side and she got up there and hatched all those babies out. Keep in mind we had tornados all over Arkansas at this time so she got them through that. We boosted my son up there to get them down. Caught mama in a net and had a sheet waiting for when the babies somersaulted off the roof. I had a minor heart attack but no one perished. We have set them up in a makeshift dog kennel/brooder so they are nice and protected now.
Feature photo credit: Castle Riecke
Thanks to everyone who shared their stories and helped brighten our day. Sorry, but Chick isn’t a real magazine, but art from a calendar by Sara Chaparro, a Seattle-based freelance graphic designer, artist/crafter and animal lover who plans to have a farm sanctuary one day.
I loved your post.
This is what I love in your post: these are such funny and relatable stories for anyone who keeps chickens! I love how this article brings some humor to the challenges of chicken keeping. Thanks, Ely Shemer
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