A bizarre thing happened to me last night, except for me it was not that weird.
I had just turned the hose on the plants in the planter out front. I came back out of the house, thinking to check on the water, to find a red pickup truck in our driveway. At first I didn’t realize what was going on, but the people in it were trying to ditch a couple of chickens in our yard! Which isn’t that weird because in our neighborhood we have chickens all over the place. The other ones really aren’t ours either, but we feed them anyway.
“W-would you like a couple of Rhode Island Reds?” the young girl stammered as one of the birds in her arms flapped its wings around the girl’s head. I guess you could say I caught her red-handed.
“Sure,” I said. “We were just thinking we needed more chickens down on this end of the neighborhood anyway.” Really, we had just said that recently.
She smiled, put at ease, and said good-bye to the birds. It was obvious they were pets, given up for whatever reason, but I am glad the people chose to bring them to us instead of killing them and throwing them away. The chickens may have a lifestyle change to make, but at least they are alive.
Since they were dropped off, I found out that the Reds like to eat out of my hand as opposed to me throwing grain as I do to the rest of the population. Their sharp little beaks pinched the soft skin of my palm a couple of times, but mostly it felt pleasant. They also don’t mind being picked up and petted. They roost at night on the arm of a bench on our front porch, leave lots of poops by the morning (oh well, it’s not always cute and sweet with animals. A hose remedied that quickly).
They stick together, too, and haven’t really been absorbed into the group yet. They are very close and have certainly grown up together.
They also seem to think they should come inside. This evening they stood at the screen door and made that odd little cooing sound, then flapped their wings impatiently when I wouldn’t let them in. Before they settled down for the night, I caught one of them on the window ledge outside the living room watching TV through a gap in the curtain. Ah well, a little TV before bed, who can fault them?
So, I hope the little Reds will be okay. I would like them to stay with us for a long time. And, above all, I wouldn’t want them to meet with “fowl” play.