I am a blogger for Backyard Poultry Magazine and this is an article of mine that they posted on April 3, 2014
After spending far too much time pondering the recent question, Where’s the weirdest place you’ve found an egg?, my mind started to drift…as it often does. I started to recall some of the strangest places that I have ever found a chicken. I began to recall anxious exploration to find a bird that had not made a recent appearance or to locate one after someone had inadvertently left a door open. So many came to mind that I thought it might be a good opportunity to share some of the crazier exploits of our unique little house flock.
For many people, realizing a chicken is missing means a permanent disappearance. Last year, a very dear friend of mine took her cherished lap chicken out in the yard for a play date with their resident garden squirrel. She walked into the barn to get a handful of scratch and when she returned less than a minute later, Bella was gone without a trace. She was never seen again. As heart breaking as that story has always been to me, we rarely have to worry that one of our birds is truly gone. But even for house chickens, there are many unrealized dangers, so when you haven’t seen one of them for a while it is best to send out a search party.
Suki was my husband’s hen. She was a little slate colored bantam mix. I called her the blue pigeon. She had very little use for me and had no trouble expressing those feelings. I suspected that she was jealous of my own pet hen that I doted on and I doubt the Blue Pigeon moniker pleased
her much either. One day after she and I had exchanged some unpleasant words over something
she had stolen off the counter, she went off to sulk. Hours later, I realized I had not seen or heard from her and went about the monumental task of looking for her in the four-story Victorian we lived in at the time. I checked all of the usual spots, under beds and furniture, in plants, in laundry baskets and so on… I tried frantically to find her before my husband got home from work so that I didn’t have to
admit having an argument with a
chicken. I was unsuccessful. When he got home (and after he had finished laughing at me) we began to search together. We called to her, but she wouldn’t come and she refused answer us. It took another
5 hours of searching until we found her. She was in the basement underneath a cardboard box that she had overturned and crawled under. When we lifted the box, she just glared at me as if to say, “Ha! That’s what you get for yelling at me!”
I can remember another time when one of my little Roos was young. He was a smart little bugger. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s ridiculous, he’s a chicken.” But it was really something to watch him at times. He was a frizzle, so he had no ability to fly with his curly little wings. When he wanted to get up on something that was too high, he would look around and find something low enough he could get on and then look to the next highest thing and in a series of leaps he would usually make his way to his desired destination. One morning, he followed me into the bathroom. Our house had very high deep windowsills and he decided he wanted to get up and look out the window. The sill was too high for one leap, but the toilet lid was just right. So he hopped onto the toilet lid and then to the windowsill. He clucked and chirped excitedly at the view out the window. When I realized later that evening that he hadn’t come to join me for our ritualistic 7:00pm sitcom, I went to find him. Apparently he had wanted to watch the scenery out the bathroom window again. The flaw in his otherwise perfect plan was that I had forgotten to put the toilet lid down. He waited patiently for me to get the camera and then for a bath and blow dry.
So, where’s the strangest place you have ever found one of your chickens?
Below are some of the more unusual place that we have found our chickens.