Friday, May 27, 2011

The Chicken and Frog Adventure

Last night a storm moved through our area with winds up to 60 miles per hour Our light weight chicken coup is made with PVC pipe, tarp and chicken wire. It's not tied down, because I slide it around the lawn daily to give the birds fresh grass. Needless to say when the storm hit, the coup quickly flipped over!

The birds were immediately exposed, soaking wet and huddled together in a hopelessly vulnerable mass. Some birds were missing. They had fallen into a storm ditch nearby that was beginning to swell with water. I found them by listening to their cries. They were huddled up under an eroded embankment. I had to feel my way in to find them.

In the meantime I flipped the cage over the exposed birds on the grass. Once I'd gathered the rest from the ditch, I wondered how to get them all through the rest of the storm. I knew the cage would flip again. So I did the only thing I could think of. I climbed inside the cage with them and held onto it. My heart raced, Bel worried and Calvin thought I was going to die for sure. The wind picked the cage right up of the ground a few more times, but I managed to hold it down. When things finally calmed down I climbed out and shuffled all 25 birds into the shed where they could calm down and dry off... At least I thought all 25 birds were there. One was actually missing, but we didn't know it 'till the next day.

In the morning, as we took care of the birds, we heard a squawking sound coming from the ditch behind us.  Bel said, "Is that a chicken?" We both looked around at the eroded embankment when up jumped chicken number 25. He was missing, and we didn't even know it. All but forgotten, spending the night in the ditch, he should have washed away! Not this bird, he wasn't ready to be forgotten. So over he came as proud as he could be to the cage for his victory meal. 

He was in pretty bad shape -so covered in mud that it was sticking to his eyelids. His tail feathers looked like an arrangement of broken stems in a vase, and he was a wee bit disoriented.

He is just a meat bird -but for the ordeal we experienced last night and for our amazement and joy at seeing him come up from that ditch this morning, we're thinking about making him a permanent member of Spring Garden Acre.  Doesn't he deserve it!

Here's the little storm chaser now. See how different he looks from the other birds. He's literally caked with guck and mud from the night before.

To top things off, Bel and I were sitting in our living room talking by candlelight in the storm (the power was out) when this little guy came hopping across the living room floor. He was seeking shelter I suppose. Yet another survivor.
What a wild night! Thankfully the garden was alright. Some of our cauliflower plants were tipped over and our peas are shaken up a bit. But all in all, everybody made it safe and sound.


  1. Oh, no....another blogger friend caught in this catastrophic weather! I'm so happy to hear you and the chickens are safe, even though it was a horrid experience for all of you. Yes, hug that little chicken tight and let him live out his life as a bug-muncher!

  2. Holy moly! Glad you all made it through ok. It has been one nasty spring. I think you deserve a glass of that peach wine after that.

  3. That was a nasty storm. It passed through here too. I'm happy to hear that you and the chickens made it through unharmed. I think that you should keep "Storm"!

  4. Glad to hear you and and all your chickens made it through all right! What dedication to ride out the storm in a chicken cage to make sure they were safe!

    I agree with the others that you should keep that little guy. He's a survivor!

  5. Annie's Granny, Jane, Robin and Prarie Cat, thank you all for your votes to let the survivor have a permanent home with us, but he's cleaned himself up so well that we don't know which one he is anymore. Who would have ever thought that good hygiene could lead to your demise? Seriously, we're in a suburban area that won't allow crowing roosters. We'd have the city on our backs in a heartbeat.

  6. Well, pooh. Don't invite me to dinner ;-)