On Monday night, I was out watering the chickens. Refilled their food for the week. Checked on the coop. The usual. Then I left for a few days up north with a bunch of my friends early on Tuesday morning. As I was getting ready on Tuesday morning, I let the dogs out to do their business (as I do every morning), fed them, and headed out. Nothing out of the ordinary except that I was heading out of town for a few days instead of to the office.
My roommate Leslie arrived home at the end of the work day and let the dogs out, same as always. Except it wasn’t. There was squawking almost immediately. And a dead chicken almost as quickly. She ran outside to see Buck (visiting dog) taking a bite out of Marigold, as Maggie and Suzie left Edna’s already dead carcass to come help. Leslie screamed for the dogs who dropped the chicken and went inside as instructed. I got a panicked phone call up north full of apologies and the bad news. Okay. I don’t understand how they had time to rip a corner of the chicken wire (2 layers) open in the 10 minutes they were out in the morning. But clearly it was enough for the chickens to escape and be free ranging in the yard when Leslie got home and let the dogs out. Epic chicken fail. Sigh. I told her to pick up the bodies and put them in the outside trash which would be going out in a day or two anyway. And of course, apologized repeatedly that the tragedy happened on her watch and assured her that it wasn’t her fault. Such is life.
An hour later I listened to one of the funniest voicemails ever. One of the chickens wasn’t all the way dead. And as Leslie went to scoop up the carcass, it fluttered and flew up into her face, causing much panic and dropping of the other dead chicken. And now the neighbors were out in the yard. Awesome. Her brave fiancé arrived on the scene, covered the hole in the coop with plywood, and helped move the mostly dead chicken into the now-secure coop and the all-the-way-dead-chicken to the dumpster. Rest in peace Edna.
I called my mom who agreed to go pick up said mostly-dead-chicken to either provide chicken hospice or nursing care, whichever was required. And mostly to save my very flustered roommate from further dealings with a mostly-dead-chicken in my absence. As the story goes, my mom got Marigold home and into the solitary confinement coop at her house. Gave her food and water. And the next morning went out to find poor Marigold on her back, legs sticking straight into the air, dead. Rest in peace Marigold.
So… the two roosters were the lone survivors of this failed chicken project. They are running around happily at my parents fertilizing hens to their hearts content and grossing out my 16 year old brother.
In case you’re counting:
- Dogs: 4
- Nature: 2 (roosters not hens)
- Reenie: 0
Operation Chicken 2012: Epic Fail