Chicken-Catching Catastrophe

Written 8/26/1994 with revisions made 7/17/2021

A white feathered chicken with red facial tissues stands on a beige tile floor in a dining room. Chair and table legs can be seen in the background.
Photo by Catherine Sheila from Pexels

Last year, during detasseling season, we came home to find twenty or thirty extra chickens (not something I realized when first taking in the condition of the extras). When I’d went to do the chores, it looked like our chickens had been mangled. They had feathers missing and you could see their flesh.

I ran to the house to get my mom. She and my stepdad went out to investigate and see why I was spazzing.

Upon further inspection, you could tell these were chickens someone had dropped off because there were more than usual. While my parents were trying to figure out what to do with the half-naked poultry strutting around in the lot, I had noticed an individual chicken trying to escape by squeezing through the hog fence. My brother and I went to that area and tried herding the lone chicken back to the lot where they are kept.

Trying to herd the chicken back, didn’t work so well. It kept outrunning us. We tried to trap it in a corner, but it would propel itself into mid-air and come toward us so that didn’t work, either. After numerous trips and attempts outside in the pasture, the escapee slipped into the barn, where the goats stayed.

Again, we tried to trap it in a corner thinking this was it, but it was too shook up and flew to a board that stood over four feet high that kept the goats from getting out. It perched itself on the board. Not trying to startle the chicken, I went out of its sight. However, in my eagerness to be done with this one chicken, I returned to its sight too soon and it flew off again. This time it was trying to fly to the top of a corn bin, which sat off the ground about nine feet high and was about 12 to 15 feet away from its previous perch. The chicken ended up doing a “fly on a windshield” except it was with this corn bin. As soon as it hit the corn bin, it fell into a garbage can directly underneath and knocked over the can while remaining inside. We quickly got the garbage can covered and headed to the chicken lot returning the somewhat *unconscious (possibly concussed) chicken back to grass and calm.

Later on, we clipped all the wings of the newly added chickens to prevent a repeat experience and found out that a farmer nearby decided to push their molting flock onto us.

*This chicken within moments of being returned to the chicken lot was back to pecking the ground and grass for bugs, worms, and doing chicken things.

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Tolbert

Tolbert

Queer Writer & Poet | Sex and Sensuality | Health and Wellness Interests | Personal Experience | LINKTR.EE/TOLBERTMBB | Instagram @tolbert_on_medium