The Good, the Bad, and the Poultry

Yesterday, we went to see a movie. That was all well and good. But for me, doing the usual stuff around the house and then going to see a movie does not make for a satisfying day. I mean, I have to actually DO something. So I was happy that it was time to treat the hens for leg mites. And what a job it was.

The first thing I did was clean out the henhouse. This is always the scary part. I didn’t try and shoo the hens out, because I knew they would go to the back of the house and avoid me. They would have to come out in their own time. That’s when things always get ugly.

As I started to lift shovel-fulls of bedding out of the house, the hens on the roosting poles started to cluck in an agitated way. The ominous clucking grew louder as the hens moved closer to the door, (which I was partially blocking,) one by one. Then, one hen flew over me and out the door with a wild screech. The other hens knew that this was their only escape. But should they risk it? One by one, the hens contemplated it, and then flew screeching out the door. None used my head as a landing platform, but it has happened before. Why they couldn’t just jump down and run past me, I don’t know, but I escaped the henhouse without a scratch, and I felt very pleased about it. It is a pleasing thing not to be covered in scratches.

Next we had to actually treat the hens by catching them and dunking their legs in oil, to smother the mites. Some were as docile as kittens, some screeched bloody murder. None the less, we had them done in record time, and soon, the oilylegged chickens were scratching happily around the yard.

And the final step. I dusted the coop and henhouse with DE, put new bedding in the henhouse, and sprayed the roosting poles with a mite spray.

It may not sound like an enchanting way to spend an evening to most, but to me, it was an enjoyable job after half a day of inactivity. I may not enjoy cleaning the house, but when the job is outside and involves animals, there is nothing half so satisfying as a good day’s work.

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