Happy Chickens!

The story starts with `sad’ chickens at the Ag. Center  My mom and I were at the FFA Fall BBQ in September. I was having lots of fun seeing all my old FFA friends and eating a potluck dinner. They roasted Lefty and Harold—goats that were friends with my goat, Kanga. Well, Harold was the mean one. But Lefty was a very nice goat. Anyway, I ate some of Lefty’s meat. It was good. It is called `chevon.’ I liked it. My mom was being silly and she just ate salads.

Anyway, back to the `sad’ chickens. It was dark and we were in the car headed for home when my mom suggested that we visit the chickens, `just to see what they do at night.’ We drove around back close to the chicken coop; all I had to do was open the car door. But I didn’t.

`Don’t you want to get out, Mathalia? To see the chickens. Maybe they have started to roost.’

`No. I stay in the car.’

`Aw, Come on! It will only take a minute. Don’t you want to see them find their bed for the night.’

`Stay in the car.’

So I waited for my mom and when she got back all she talked about on the way home was how `sad’ the chickens were: `Oh, Mathalia, the chickens were so sad; they had no place to roost. I counted seven chickens up on the window sill. All the others were huddled next to the door. The poor chickens! We will have to tell Grandpa and maybe he can build them a nice roost.’

And so we told Grandpa. Two days later the next thing I know is that we had an appointment to go out to the Ag Center with Grandma and Grandpa after dinner. There was a big surprise in Grandpa’s truck!  Thank you Grandpa!’

We drove out to the Ag Center in the truck. This time I got out and went to the chicken coop—my mom did not need to try to coax me. I wanted to see how the chickens liked their new furniture. Grandpa put them into the coop. I couldn’t really help very much but I could take pictures. Grandpa drilled the `ladder’ or roost onto the wall so that it would not fall down. And then he drilled the nesting boxes in place.

When everything was all done, we stepped to the side and waited in the big doorway and watched the chickens. They were so funny! They didn’t know what to do with all the new stuff in their hen house.  Popping their heads up and down, looking and looking.

We wondered if they would want to go on the roost without any coaxing. We watched and waited. And then one flew up on one rung and up another step and up another step, just checking it all out. Most of them liked it right away. They settled in very comfortably for the night. They were the `happy’ ones. Then there were some who wanted to stick with their routine of roosting in the window. I completely understand where they were coming from; they wanted their `normal’ sleeping place. But they used the first rung as a launching site to get to their window destination. Three chickens did not want to have anything to do with the new roost. They were huddled next to the door and my mom grabbed them one by one, handed them to me and I put them on the first rung of the roost. Poof! Each one of those three chickens flew right back down to the floor! We tried a couple of times and then just let them have their way. Silly chickens!

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