So poor Charlie was bereft without his Clucky–or possibly just horny–it’s all the same to a rooster, I suppose. Within days this rooster who always avoided us suddenly started venturing closer and closer to me when I was in the yard. He may have seen us burying his hen and just thought we were able to bring her back to him. At any rate, I thought he was lonely and looking for attention, so one day as he ventured closer and closer, I slowly leaned toward him, talking in a soft, soothing voice—and he jumped at my ankles and squawked loudly! He didn’t hurt me, but I knew it was a warning of what he COULD do. I guess he thought I took his..um..girlfriend away. After that, I steered clear of him.
But I did feel badly for him, as he had gotten used to having his friend around, so hubby found a new love for him. She was wild and crazy and flew and screamed like a banshee as soon as he let her loose in the yard. Charlie came out from wherever he was in a flash and they disappeared into the bushes. I named her “Kate” after the female lead in Taming of the Shrew. Charlie and Kate didn’t like being together in the openness of the yard, so we didn’t see them much, but Kate definitely ate the cat food.
One day a few weeks after we brought Kate home, we saw baby chicks around the next door neighbor’s thick shrubs and we realized we were responsible for feeding the babies so they would be healthy. The neighbor’s shrubs were on the FAR side of their property, not on the side adjoining ours, so every day we walked across and fed (real chick food!) and watered the chicks. Eventually the chicks began venturing out with their mama hen. It was amusing, to say the least. I don’t know what we were thinking, but we were suddenly the owners of a small flock of chickens that were living in the neighbor’s yard!
That was not the end, of course. A short time later, there was another whole brood. I think we had about 22 chicks at one point and it was beginning to be an issue with the neighbor who had a toddler. They didn’t care for having chicken droppings all over the yard when the little one was wandering through the grass and he was afraid of the larger chickens, too. He wouldn’t go outside when the chickens were wandering in the yard. So hubby built a makeshift coop.
Our kids had a treehouse type structure, so hubby closed in underneath of it with chicken wire and, with great effort, caught Kate and all her offspring. We fed and watered them for awhile, but finally decided this was never our intention and we really didn’t want to have all those roosters crowing when they were a bit older. Obviously, the reproducing was going to continue and we had no intention of competing with Mr. Perdue, so we found someone who wanted ALL of the chickens, including Charlie and Kate. He raised them purely for fun and eggs and they would have a good life on his farm. Everyone was happy and we were relieved to have them off our hands.
So here I am, roughly 20 years later, planning on having laying hens when I retire. But it’s a whole different story than the accidental chickens. This will be planned out, with a coop ready to go and ONLY pullets will be brought in. And only 3 of them! I just want some pet chickens to lay me some eggs, that’s all.
I do know, though, that my kids have fond memories of things like “accidental chickens” and a pet chipmunk. They will always remember that their dad had a soft spot for wayward chickens, half crippled chipmunks and even a tiny kitten that was being picked up in the mouth of a huge dog and carried around. I don’t think he has any idea how important these things were, but I do.