We let our chickens run about as they want. Yes, they have a run so that they can stay in a safe environment when desired or they’ll have a protected place to run if something chases them, but chickens do need the freedom to wander about. Besides, letting the chickens run around doing what chickens do best, eating insects, helps reduce the tick population in the woods. So, it didn’t surprise me the other day to see chickens in our woods while I was working on a relatively large log. However, I thought that they’d maintain their distance because my chainsaw does make a frightful amount of noise.
As I worked along, I noted that the chickens were getting closer. As soon as they saw me looking at them, they curtsied. Now it may sound quite odd to hear that chickens curtsey, but ours do quite regularly. The move their wings out in a manner reminiscent of a woman holding out her skirts and then they do a bit of a bow legged dip. It really is quite humorous to see. Our chickens curtsey when they want us to pick them up and hold them. Normally, this is followed by some amount of petting and us telling them how good they are. Our birds truly are spoiled in grand fashion.
Since I didn’t want to stop cutting the log up, I ignored the chickens and kept working. I felt that they would probably head back the other direction due to the noise of the chainsaw. So, it surprised me quite a lot to look up and see that they had gotten closer still. When they saw me looking again, they curtsied yet again—looking quite annoyed in a chicken sort of a way. I could almost see them huff and they were quite annoyed that their human just hadn’t gotten the idea that they really needed to be picked up and told what good birds they were.
Not taking the hint, I decided to continue working on the log. Certainly, they’d get the idea this time and go in the other direction or possibly stop to watch me for a while (something that chickens do relatively often because they really are quite nosy). When I looked up the third time, the chickens had gotten dangerously close to my logging operation and I decided that I really must get them to safety. Seeing me look again, they not only curtsied, but squawked quite loudly in order to better attract my attention.
So, I shut my saw off and went over to the two birds. I picked a bird up in each arm (good thing there weren’t three of them). Now, I’m walking down this rather steep hill, one chicken under each arm, hoping that I don’t fall. All the while I’m telling the chickens what good birds they are. Eventually, I get to the coop and let them inside. I go inside with them and tell them what good birds they are again and give them some pets. At this point, I closed the run door, got the rest of the birds inside, and then went back to work.
Lesson learned? If your chickens really think they need to be petted and they take the time to curtsey, don’t ignore them. I have to admit, they really did make my afternoon better. I laughed about their antics all the way back up the hill where I finished my log, loaded it into the cart, and dumped it down the chute. Feel free to share your favorite humorous chicken story with me at [email protected].