Lottery

Yeah…I’ve been away and lots has happened that I haven’t posted. I think I follow the normal path of the normal casual blogger. In fact, I have several anecdotes that would make good standalone posts, and I hope that I get around to sharing those stories. But I wanted to throw in this little fun bit!

So, we had some chicken complications. After a year and a half of low-level chicken keeping, we’ve had our share of learning. Things I’ve mentioned–hawk, rats–things I haven’t updated yet–polar vortexes, raccoons (little jerks).

The chicken complications have been highly concentrated in the past week. Among the results was acquiring new chicken Flora.

She’s a frisky one, Flora is. Fast as heck. When she looks at you directly, when her neck ruff is fluffed out, she’s all floofy, but from the side, her face is surprisingly hawk-like. Got her from the Chicago Chicken Rescue along with a Red Star hen we’ve named Gertrude. This was in the aftermath of losing Beaker to a raccoon–a trauma that has impacted my opinion of all those little Trash Pandas. When I can catch her, she’s perfectly willing to let me pet her. But catching her is an impressive workout.

So, new chickens in the yard Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon, Flora has already flown the coop. I’m crestfallen. We’ve already lost a chicken and now we’ve brought in a new chicken and immediately lost it. Plus, despite reinforcing the coop, the raccoon managed to get it’s paw in and swipe at Gertie’s comb. And Monarch is being all territorial and pecking at Gertie.

Status: One recently-deceased chicken, one newly-acquired-but-now-injured chicken, one newly-acquired-but-now-escaped chicken, one remaining home-base chicken who’s being an asshole.

From camera footage, we can figure the time of disappearance of Flora to be a little after 5 on Wednesday. Between Wednesday and Thursday Jeff and I both make various sweeps around the neighborhood in the unlikely chance of finding Flora. Keep in mind this is a Chicago city neighborhood. Streets, cars, dogs, asshole raccoons, endless directions to go, etc. Of course no luck. I’ve put up a notice on our local neighborhood FB page. In a last ditch, completely without expectation attempt, I made a lost chicken sign:

I knew this was like playing the lottery. Especially since I knew the rainstorms that night were going to tear down all of the signs (in fact, my original plan was to take them down before the rain, but I got lazy).

But I had one advantage. We have a Little Free Library outside of our house (which also doubles nicely as a Pokemon GO stop and a Harry Potter Wizards Unite greenhouse) which gets good neighborhood foot traffic and provided shelter for the flyer from the rain.

Lo and behold, the next day, while I was at work, I get a notification on my electronic doorbell on my phone. I can answer the doorbell through the Ring and talk to him even though I’m not home. A guy from down the block has spotted the chicken! She’s just across the street in the neighbor’s front yard! But I’m still at work. And he’s walking his big ol’ Pit Bull and can’t do anything about the chicken. I kinda ask if there’s any way he can let someone else around know to throw the chicken in the yard or something, but he just walks away.

I tidied up as much work as possible and drove home, thinking about my plan, even though I figured he was just talking about the neighbors chickens (they occasionally let them out to roam…drives me crazy, but if they didn’t, I never would have had a chicken in the first place šŸ™‚ ). About 10 minutes away from home, a call from an unknown number!

Hi, uh Jennifer? Yeah, I caught your chicken and threw it in your backyard.

And he had.

There’s still much pecking order being established amongst the three chickens, but it seems to be mellowing. Nobody gets to walk around the yard unsupervised. But I’m still reveling in the amazing luck that we got back one of our new feathered friends.

I’m currently putting together a thank you package for the chicken catcher.

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