Bringing you all the chicken poop that’s fit to print, and some as what ain’t.
The Great Chicken Kerfuffle
Summer brings gardening, fruits and vegetables and this summer the neighbors went into high gear. They have a half acre laid out in corn, beans, squash and tomatoes! It is quite the extravaganza with three families working and eating the produce.
Enter Miss Dixie, our wild little hen who lives in the trees and eats what she pleases, mostly bugs and seeds she finds, and the occasional flushing cheek of the largest most promising tomatoes in their garden, not mine…
Very recently, this caused the Mr. from next door to come over and firmly voice his complaints about said little white chicken. I quickly apologized and went on to explain Miss Dixie’s situation.
You see sir, Miss Dixie was one of several chickens who were attacked and damaged by a neighbors dogs in 2011. She being the only survivor, went rogue. Taking to the trees to roost by night and the field to forage by day. This worked out well for me because she came home to lay her eggs with the other hens and pick up a bite or two and then she continued her foraging for the day.
I further explained to him that I understand his concerns. I told him, “I will try to catch her, but make no promises because of my arthritis. If I can’t catch her then we’ll figure something out.”
He acquiesced and went home.
Previous to this incident (last year in April, and right before my knee surgery) I had to get rid of my chickens because Bob wouldn’t have time to care for them, and I couldn’t manage the job at all. As well, our other neighbor had called to complain that my chickens were scratching up all her sons newly planted seeds and could I please catch them and pen them up! I told her not to worry, and that I planned to get rid of my chickens anyway. I managed to catch every one but Miss Dixie. So now it is the day before my surgery and I still haven’t caught her. I called the neighbor and said, I’m sorry but Miss Dixie is a wild chicken and I can’t catch her. If she’s too much bother then tell your husband to use her for target practice! To which she replied,
“OH NO, THAT WON’T BE NECESSARY, I’M SURE WE’LL FIGURE SOMETHING OUT!!!”
Originally, we were told by this particular neighbor who owns all the land and houses on our street except two, ours and the people across the street, that our chickens were delightful and it wasn’t a problem to let them free range in their pasture. As the land usage has changed I have tried to respond accordingly.
The surprise in all of this is now their renters, the Mr. whose tomatoes were accosted, have about 50 chickens of their own. Yes, really! So when his nephew came to the door and complained about Miss Dixie again, Bob told him that we had asked their landlord to make good on our previous suggestion as to what to do about Miss Dixie, and that he didn’t want to hear anymore about the subject! Sigh…
Apparently, this upset said Mr. and his family, and now suddenly they want to take Miss Dixie, clip her wings and put her in a chicken run.
Miss Dixie is wild, I told them. She is old and won’t take well to captivity, I said. Yet, they were adamant that if they clipped her wings and put her in with their chickens then it would work. That was two weeks ago. Day before yesterday, they let all their chickens out.
Miss Dixie slept in her tree that night. ;)
She has not put a toenail nor pinfeather in their yard on either day, although she may in future…
I do hope they have the sense not to come knocking on our door again as regards Miss Dixie.
Miss Dixie and RC in happier times.