The Game

The chickens and i have this little game. Our kitchen is essentially a screened outdoor space, and it is pleasant in hot weather to leave the doors open for ventilation, especially when the stove is going.   

And this is when the chickens see how unobtrusively they can tiptoe into the kitchen and gobble cat kibbles, while I lay in wait for them, innocently skimming milk or washing dishes like chickens don’t exist, with one of Mirin’s last remaining working Nerf guns loaded and on hand (the horrible things have come in handy at last!)

They have 40 acres to forage, but they spend all their time pursuing the forbidden kibble. 

 The Turken chicken is the worst. It never knows when to give up already. It lurks from door to door, bald and gangly,  like a mangy red vulture, always. It might be the ugliest chicken I’ve ever seen, but the unfortunate thing certainly has brains, and admirable persistence.

  Not even a well-aimed Nerf dart to their fluffy behinds discourages them from making another try in a few minutes, but it is a fun game at the moment of the phsshhht… thunk! and the horrible squawk, less enjoyable when it scares the shit out of them and i have to clean the floor. 

We had a nice break from the problem over the winter and spring when we kept them in a moveable coop shelter.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was the only way to keep them out of the garden where they had caused so much havoc. 

Recently I  had let them free again after one morning walking up to the far corner of the farm where we had tractored them along to, and discovering that two of them had been brutally murdered while sleeping inside the coop on the nest box. 

I found their bodies, nestled together in death, with their skulls eaten out of the loose skin of their faces, leaving them crumpled and empty. It was horrifying. A scratched-out shallow hole under the edge of the coop was the only other evidence of the intruder. They were too far away for us or the dog to hear and rescue. 

 The rest of the chickens seemed to look as horrified as I felt, and I took pity on them and let them free. The eggs are more numerous and of much better quality now, though it took all of 3 days for them to remember how much they liked crapping all over the deck and patio and sneaking into the kitchen after cat kibbles. 

When you are out of the fixed and processed human-centered world we’ve created, you see things.

 Some things are beautiful, some things are terrible, and some are both.  There’s birth and life, but there are also things like grizzly death and fly-strike that haunt your dreams.

Maybe that’s why, unlike so many people, i can’t stand to watch violent movies. My brother, who has spent most of his life trying to be as normal as possible, is entertained by computer games where the blood of the fallen spews out realistically, and relishes movies with graphic death where fake blood splatters everywhere and fake guts pour on the floor. 

These things don’t attract me, not when i have pulled still-warm organs from the belly of a carcass, or seen real life blood gush back into the earth, dust to dust, and from grass to steak. Too often I’ve been witness to real blood and real death, the shocking leavings of brutal predators, or accidents, like the little pig who got cyanide poisoning from plum pits and turned blue and gasped as i held her in my lap in her last moments.

You see things, real things. And you realize just how edible chickens are. So for now, we’re playing the game. 

14 Comments Add yours

  1. vicki says:

    OOOO… A great use for Nerf guns! We have an abundance here and I have a flock who LOVES to eat all my garden plants!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, who would have thought they could be so useful! If you have one of the fancy ones that shoot multiple darts, it’s probably even more effective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. vicki says:

        Hahahaaa!!

        Like

  2. Ravenna says:

    A screened outdoor kitchen sounds fabulous (it wouldn’t work for our winters here). I grew up watching those bloody horror movies, but I just don’t have the stomach for it anymore…now that I know what terrible things happen to real people in the real world. But that is life…beautiful and terrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s wonderful for most of the year here, and we have shutters made from metal roofing we can close in cold/bad weather, which came in super handy during hurricane Irma! On really cold winter days we only hang out in the kitchen while the stove is on, and sometimes the plumbing is all frozen. Definitely a warm climate arrangement!

      Like

  3. What an excellent read, and I am so glad to find that I am not the only person on the planet that cannot watch violence (sometimes it seems that I am) and I don’t have any chickens. I do love eggs though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by and reading here. If you like eggs you should think about a few chickens! They can be pesky but they are fun to have around for the most part.

      Like

  4. tonytomeo says:

    I have not seen a movie in a theater in many many years, and one of the last was ‘Pulp Fiction’, which is a good reason to never want to see another movie ever again. I was not quite as disgusted with the movie as I was with how much other people enjoyed it. That is really creepy. I asked a few about it, and never got a good answer. People just do not understand why I do not agree that it was the greatest movie ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh, i know what you mean! All the Quentin Tarantino movies are so awful like that! His best movie in my opinion is 4 rooms, and that’s only because he directed only a quarter of it. Incidentally, they are some of my brother’s favorites! He has also never really been able to give a good answer about why.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you have problems with critters eating your chickens? We usually lose a few, but we have been wiped out these last 2 months! Guessing all the building going on around here…all the animals are losing their homes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…. it’s so sad to lose birds. Occasionally we do, like one week all three of our roosters died from different things. We have a livestock guardian dog that does a pretty good job as long as they roost close by. This is a flock of older hens that have survived, so they are all pretty smart since the dumb ones have long since been weeded out. Is it raccoons? They can be brutal.

      Like

  6. Hi gotta love the chooks we have the same issue not with the chooks though( been there done that kind of miss it) but with our drake Henry & his duck Elouise, give me the chick poop any day. haha

    Like

    1. I agree, chicken poo isn’t the worst of the poultry. The geese we have are just terrible…we had to lock them away from the patio because they loved it and it was just too gross

      Liked by 1 person

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