I was late getting home from work and I looked out the back door to see who the escapees are for the day (several can figure out how to get out but not get back in so their are 3 or 4 on the outside figuring out how to get in and 30 some odd on the inside mad because they aren't out) these are mostly chickens and two bourbon red turkeys living in a fairly pampered situation. The turkeys can fly anywhere they want to go - they are always out - they just can't seem to figure out how to fly back in to get to the food. Anyhow - I look out the back door to see chicken escapees one and two huddled together under a lawn chair in the back yard and the two bourbon reds having a party with the broadbreasted whites in the backyard. This is not good. The BBWs life in a hoop coop in the pasture. Someone let them out. The problem is - they've never been out and I had no idea how to get them back in. Plus their hoop coop was a half an acre away and even if I had McDonald's french fries the Missy Chicken would never follow me that far. So I let the chickens out and went to change out of my suit. I hear DH stomp down the hall "Um - there's a problem you should probably come see" - so I hurry - the last time I heard this I had to retrieve the body of my favorite Tom out of the neighbors yard after he decided to challenge their black lab. I throw on an old t-shirt jeans and my crocs and run down the hall. I look out the back door and 3 of the BBWs are executing an amazing three rooster butt whooping. And the other four are strutting and drumming! It was quite spectacular! Plus - I've been irritated with those roosters for a few weeks so it was fun to see something that was able to exact a little revenge. So there was an amazing poultry circle of doom (no one was being injured there was just a lot of testosterone flying around) - so I decided to feed the turkey and stop the battle - I filled their bowl with food and set in the back yard - because I'm simpleminded - this bowl is a 10 gallon feed pan - about 10 inches high and 24 inches diameter- guess what - it holds about 8 chickens. The turkeys looked and went "oh look" and then wandered away like nothing was amiss - back to rooster confrontation, dustbathing in the sandbox, eating the rest of the geraniums, challenging the dog - talking to me - talking to each other. DH goes "What in God's name are YOU going to do?" Just like that. For a moment - I thought about letting them free range the back yard - but all I could picture was poultry doom circles and dog challenges that would eventually end badly and with some stupid dog ruining what are becoming my very very expensive turkey dinners. SO I went and got the tractor and pulled the hoop coop into the backyard (because it isn't hillbilly enough around here) I refilled the big bowl and put it back in the hoop coop with fresh water and I called "Come here boys" and they all ran on their little turkey kankles right to me. It was adorable and I was soooo impressed with myself. Yeah - for about 10 seconds. I put my hand out and said to the one that was closest - "come here buddy" - he freaking turned and ran - and then the other six ran ran ran like the wind on their little turkey kankles. (Kankles def: ankles that look like knees) ARRRGGGGHHH For 30 minutes I cornered birds on the farthest corner of the acre from the hoop coop and carried them kicking and whistling and gobbling and flapping - clear across the yard and to the coop where my five year old was the door monitor. The first one was the smallest one - it wasn't much of a battle before he figured out that I meant him no harm and he was going to new grass and had first dibs on the feed pan. The second one must've weighed forty pounds! He beat me with his wings - tore my t-shirt - ripped my stomach open and shredded my arms and hands. I dreaded the last five. After the second one - they started to talk to each other - I swear that big one was in the coop going - "keep fighting boy! don't let her get you! run run fight fight!" Finally I was down to the last two. The second to last one was drumming and strutting and turning his head blue and I thought for sure that I was going to get beat up again - he was the only one that just let me pick him up without a fight and carry him to the coop. Maybe it was a love strut The last one all but curled up in my arms after I finally caught him. In any event - everyone is back where they belong. The roosters learned a lesson. The meat birds had an adventure. And I was extremely grateful that I made an appointment for them at the processor because I am too attached to them to do the deed myself (she says shamefully) but now I also know that there is no way on God's green earth I can butcher a forty pound bird by myself - I look like I tangled with a bunch of cats in a burlap bag -butchering day would be like me bringing a knife to a gun fight...and I still secretly wish they could live as the coolest freeranging rooster controlling yard art and never become dinner You just gotta love a turkey dontcha?