Chicken chasing for the soul


Having chickens is good for the soul.

Today my daughter and I were hanging out in the living room. I heard a strange noise outside the house, and knew I wasn’t imagining it because my cat had obviously heard it too. It sounded, appropriately enough, like a baby or a cat. But then I realized it was a chicken right under the window.

I carried Elsie (now eight months old) outside to investigate, and sure enough there was our hen named Hawk, scratching around under the Japanese maple. When I came near she started trotting uphill, back toward the chicken run. I followed, thinking Good hen! But of course, as we approached the entrance, she veered off.

I opened the "gate" (really just a spot where the two ends of electric fence are tied together) and invited her to rejoin the flock, but instead the flock began trying to rejoin her. Uh-oh. I was forced to put Elsie down and abandon my dignity. There’s no way to look cool while chasing chickens.

So there I was, diving after this renegade hen, who kept flapping away at the last minute. And then I heard a giggle. Elsie, who when placed on grass usually wastes no time digging her hands into the dirt and from there putting the dirt in her mouth, hadn’t even noticed where she was, she was so amused by my efforts.

Now that’s a nice chicken-keeping moment, right there.