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Grandma's Big Adventure (or: How not to catch a rooster)

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by jenjscott, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I am babysitting my grandson for a week while my daughter is out of town. I had forgotten how hard it is to get anything done with a young'un around. And My house and place are far from kid-friendly these days.

    I finally got out to feed the chickens with him in tow, trying to keep him fairly close because of the free ranging roosters. They don't bother any of us, but seem to think a three year old is competition and fair game.

    We got to the Japanese banties and they needed pine shavings in their cages. I was on the last one and got careless, because as I scooped in the shavings, the little rooster exploded past me into the yard. Immediately there were 3 orpingtons after him, running and pouncing. Poor liitle guy with his short legs was doing his best to scurry away, but not very successfully.

    I ran to his rescue, but of course, he just saw me as another threat, and when the other roosters took off, so did he. Right for the creek bank. I picked my way through briars to get to him, with him getting closer and closer to the drop off at the edge of the creek bank, an orp roo cutting off his escape in the other direction. I finally approached him, thinking he was cornered in the briars, but he gave another valiant effort and bailed down to the edge of the creek and almost into the water.

    This is a cypress creek with very steep banks. I reached for him, and as I did, my feet slipped out from under me and there I sat, straddle of a young sapling, with no purchase for my feet. I did get him, though, and stuffed him victoriously into my jacket and zipped it up. Now I had to figure out how to get out of my predicament.

    I was sitting at the edge of the bank, straddle a tree, with my feet at the water level. I could hear the guineas yelling above me, and was sure that the roosters were terrorizing, or worse, my grandson, who had been left at the Japanese pens when the excitement began. There was absolutely no grip for my boots, my feet just slipped out from under me. One foot finally caught on a root my heel had dug out of the muddy bank. If I slipped, I would be in water most likely over my head in short order, very cold water. I managed to get my weight onto the root and twist around enough to get my leg swung around the sapling, hugging it for support. I reached up the bank as far as I could, and finally managed to grab the base of some of the briars. With this, I was able to get first one, then the other knee up on the bank itself. All this, of course, trying not to squash the poor rooster in my jacket. Once I had my knees up under me, I made short work of crawling up the bank, grabbing small brush stems, or briars or whatever I could to keep me from sliding back down.

    I arrived back at the Japanese pen, face scratched, out of breath, to find my grandson standing there face to face with a rooster. He looked up at me and said matter of factly, "Oh, there you are". The rooster was dumped unceremoniously back in his pen with a warning that next time I would let the big boys have him. I don't think he was listening, he looked indignant at his treatment, gave his feathers a good shake all around, and strutted over to his feed dish to eat.

    "Come on, Nick" I said, "I need a cup of coffee."

  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I strap mine in his highchair leave the bathroom door open to take a shower and watch him at the same time..as far as the chickens go...i let my dh eat the rooster for trying to flog my grandson..now I want another one! Glad you are alright I will tend the chickens when I take the grandson home...I know they are fine till then!
  3. Countrywife

    Countrywife Corrupted by a Redneck

    Aug 20, 2009
    Oh Lordy, I just had visions of my future. So far, the grandson is only 4 months old, so he is easy. Seriouosly glad you got out of the pond! LOL
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    One thing I advise all chicken owners to do is to train their chickens to COME when called. You can do it if you reward them with treats when they do. I keep a bit of cracked corn in a metal can and every time I give some to the chickens I shake the can & call "Heeeeere chick-chick-chick!" before I toss out the corn. It really doesn't take them long to associate the sound of the rattling corn with the promise of the treat.

    It's so convenient when you need to get some birds back into their pen, or if you need to catch up a particular bird. You can put some corn inside a cage & when he goes in to eat you close the door behind him. Or put it in a corner, or in a bucket, and when he's occupied eating you can sneak up behind him and grab him.

    Otherwise, just wait until evening & most escapees will come back home to roost. Chickens have impressive evasive skills during daylight hours, they've got moves any NFL offensive lineman would envy.
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Believe me, I would have loved to leave him out till roost time, but between the big boys and the hawks, I don't think he would have made it. I have threatened to let the turkeys out and put the grandson in their pen while out feeding, the turkeys wouldn't mind!
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] Boy did you EARN that cup of coffee! Mine would have been laced with a little extra...lol. Nobody else would believe the extent we'll go to for our animals...hehehehee...
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    wow that must have been scary. I had a moment years ago where I was clinging to a rocky cliff like thing periliosly close to falling into the hudson where I would have surely drowned or froze to death. There was no one around to help. After much panicing and thinking my time might be up and no one would even know where I had gone I managed to pull myself out of the situation, took a while and I was also beaten up by it. I imagine your situation was similar, I am glad you got out ok.

    the last thing you want on your headstone is "she died while chasing a chicken"

    enjoy your time with dgs, mine often says the funniest most matter-of-fact things when I least expect it. [​IMG] its also a good thing that he stayed behind and did not follow you into the briar patch, could you imagine your dgs and the roo all in your coat?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009

  8. Serrin

    Serrin Songster

    OMG!! [​IMG] [​IMG] That's the funniest thing I've read yet today! I know, I know..it could have turned out much worse than it did, and you were certainly in true danger there for a bit...but your telling of the tale had me absolutely doubled up with laughter! Very good visual descriptions there Jen!! Now, go clean up and get yourself that cup of coffee! You richly deserve an extra cup today!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    AHappyChick - Somehow I don't think it could compare to hanging off a rock ledge over the Hudson, I was more scared for my grandson than my own safety, but I sure wasn't looking forward to that cold swim I thought was coming.

    Serrin - I'm glad you enjoyed it, I had fun writing it.
  10. sparkly_diamond

    sparkly_diamond In the Brooder

    Nov 27, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    Fantastic storey, I love the fact that after all of that the chook looks at you as if to say "well I never" and the grandson say "there you are" lol, hope you enjoyed your well earned coffee x x

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