Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Herding Fowl

I mentioned in my previous post that I had participated in some farm fowl herding while in Alabama last week. It's true. I did.

See, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law live on 13 acres in Alabama. On these 13 acres, they dug out a pond filled it with catfish, they have a windmill, three dogs, tractors, backhoes, a huge garden and felt a need to add more. They got two geese, three chickens and three ducks.

When you first arrive at their spread you can't even get out of your car without hearing the honking and carrying on by the geese. Apparently, they are somewhat territorial and don't like new people in their area. I got out of the car and my SIL and BIL were on the back deck manning the grill. Their little herd of farm fowl were coming up to check me out. Nice and cautious at first and then those geese put their heads low to the ground and kind of charge at me. Thankfully, I had my purse to put between me and that big honking bird. He took a swipe at my purse and I backed myself up on to the deck and out of his reach. Big laughs all around for my SIL and BIL.

After they fed me an amazing dinner of grilled steak, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potatoes, salad and fried apples they asked if I wanted to help feed the animals.


I was in my work shoes so I slipped into BIL's size gazillion crocs to head out to the pond. I waddled out there and watched SIL throw feed to the catfish. I was transfixed by the gulping, slurping and flipping and flopping of the fish and didn't quite remember that dang old attack goose who already took a swipe at me. Well, I turned around and that head was down and he was coming after me. This made me scream of course and start backing away. He kept coming. I screamed for BIL to do something, so he very helpfully threw some feed at my feet. Thanks man.

I spotted a metal trash can lid and commandeered it to use as a shield. I put it between me and that crazy goose and finally felt a little safe.

If that wasn't fun enough, it was now time to try to move these eight birds of a feather into their new coop. I was told that previously they easily would go into their old coop, but weren't yet used to the new coop so they were a little weary.

The three of us start slowly walking toward the coop and old crazy goose and his buddies just follow along. Quickly we have six of the eight inside the coop. Left out are one duck and one chicken. They were smart and when they bolted they went their separate ways.

If you could have only seen us running all over that 13 acres, it was priceless. SIL has a long stick she uses to try to herd them in the right direction. She is whispering all gently to them telling them it is going to be okay. BIL trys the trap and grab method. Getting them up against something and lunging to catch them. He was a sweaty mess, but he did manage to wrangle the duck. I was super helpful in my giant shoes running various directions with my metal trash can lid. We seriously went around the house a couple of times chasing this one stupid chicken.

After about 20 minutes of this nonsense my SIL looks at her husband and says "Go get the gun. We'll have fried chicken for dinner tomorrow." Cracked me up. From "Chicken Whisperer" to "Chicken Murderer" in such a short span of time. She was kidding of course!

Turns out we just left that chicken be and within like 15 minutes it had perched on the fence, fallen into a deep slumber and my BIL walked right up to it and picked it up.

I think there is something to be learned here. Not sure what it is, but at a minimum I learned you should not chase chickens. They are fast and they think you want to eat them.

Can't wait to take the boys back at Thanksgiving and let them get a taste of the attack geese and fowl herding. Making memories!

1 comment:

  1. Geese are so mean!! My grandma and aunt had them when I was growing up - they chased me all the time. My aunt swears by them and says they are the best guard dogs you could ever have. Glad they didn't attack you! LoL!! The boys will have a blast there.