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Chickens are dumb.

There have been a few occasions in which the chickens escaped their pen (they are no longer allowed to roam the entire backyard freely, only part of it). Of course, this always happens when I’m really busy or about to leave the house. I’ll be minding my own business when suddenly, I notice there is unexpected movement in the backyard. And then I’ll see that there are a bunch of chickens merrily wreaking havoc on the newly planted spring/summer garden.

In case you weren’t aware, when chickens are allowed to roam freely, they’ll eat basically anything that’s green in the yard. This seriously gets in the way of a spring/summer harvest. The other thing they like to do is to dig large holes in search of…things to eat, I assume. The chickens really like to dig holes. They’re worse than Yaris. Yaris hasn’t dug a trench in a really long time. And the last time she was digging a hole, I think she was trying to catch a gopher. So obviously, the chickens cannot be allowed to roam the planted areas freely.

Anyway, the chickens are out running around, wreaking havoc. I have to go out there and round them all up and dump them back in the pen. Well, first, I have to fix the pen and then round them up. Fixing hasn’t really been an issue. It’s really just someone (and I won’t name who) never latches the door correctly and the chickens are able to push the door open and run out. It’s really annoying. How long does it take to check if the door is latched properly? Like…none at all. BUT I DIGRESS.

Now then, rounding up chickens can be hard work. They like to be able to run freely through the yard and dig holes everywhere. They also can move pretty easily up the slope we have the in the backyard and I cannot. There’s too much brush and I’d probably trip and fall and bounce down the slope and break my neck.

But Yaris has been a great help in rounding up the chickens. She actually will herd them for me and then chase them back to the pen where I can pick them up and dump them in. I think Yaris might be considering a career in chicken herding. I realize that she’s suppose to herd sheep as she is a German shepherd dog, but…I don’t think she’s ever seen a sheep. Being a German chickenherd dog might be a promising career for Yaris though. Especially since she isn’t really cut out for the military.

If she does decide to be a chickenherd, she’ll have to work on her slope skills though. I have to help her up on to the slope (she can’t navigate over the retaining wall too well) and she doesn’t really seem to have an interest in climbing the slope. And of course all the chickens are at the highest point on the slope. Of course.

Now then, remember how I said chickens are dumb? They are. You see, I have found that you can rush up behind them and instead of running away, they squat and spread their wings a little bit. This makes it really easy to pick them up. Of course, if you pick them up, you should do so while tucking their wings in place so that they don’t flap all over the place. Chicken wings are ridiculous and small and not really good for flight at all, but they are still covered in feathers and parts of those feathers are stiff enough to scratch up your hands. It’s not a big deal, but the scratches end up itching as they heal. I have never been a fan of itching.

But seriously, squatting and spreading your wings? How does that help you at all? It’s just…so dumb…

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