Operation Chicken

Every spring, once the chicks were old enough to lose their down  and get their feathers it was time to introduce them to life outdoors.  This was not an easy task because chickens are, well chicken! We were forced to literally pick up every single little chicken and throw them out the small door into their fenced in run. As soon as they were off the slanted plank walkway, they tried to scramble back in.

Since we raise free range chickens, it was of paramount importance that they spend their days outside. In fact after about ten minutes we could not convince them to go back into the large chicken coop because they relished the weeds, bugs and scratching the dirt for tiny seeds and grain which we scattered around everyday.

Now this Operation DDDD Chicken Day had to be planned and manned by at least 6 kids plus myself. It took a few years to perfect our plan of attack on the cowering mass of chicken chickens. Nothing is more frustrating than catching a bird, while trying to herd out a couple more, only to loose all three. You must understand that we are talking about 175 meat birds, bred to eat voraciously . Our final method involved at least one or two children outside, preventing a mass retreat back into the chicken coop and also prevent clustering around the door. Basically it was a crowd control issue.

Inside four kids shoof and stretched out hug sheets of plastic to herd the birds in the direction of the hatch and I grabbed them one by one and pushed or threw them out the door. You cannot possibly imagine how many Ducked, Deeked, Dodged and Dived out of our hands. In frustration we often would try to grab two birds but trust me folks,

bird in the hand was worth two in the bush

our children 

The Joy of Mothering
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