Tales from the Coop – Part 4

Olympic fever

The last couple of weeks have become tiresome, those pesky hens have been up early watching the Olympics on their Coop TV, they now think they can be top class athletes. I give up sometimes, last week they wanted to play football but that descended into chaos when one bird picked up the ball, tucked it out of site under her wing and proceeded to shoulder charge the opposition until the water trough loomed up, she hurled it in whilst shouting ‘Six’. Odd creatures!

I thought they we not the brightest of creatures but evolution has obviously taught them to be cunning and devious for their survival. Earlier I observed them in the straw ‘Chicken dancing’ (it’s the funny little shuffle they do to expose seed and bugs underneath their coop floor), at last I thought they are doing proper ‘hen stuff’ and thought no more about it. A little later I realised it was a planned and devious way to pile all the straw in a huge heap in the middle of the run. Five of them were in a circle piling straw up behind them in an organised mound.

This cant be a ‘clean us out now’ protest as I only did a complete coop clean yesterday (incidentally they only gave me 2/10 for that!), I realised what they were doing. The lightest hen Flora, was sitting on the top of the hen house watching this going on below, she was upon close inspection, wearing snow goggles and the winter reflective vest we bought as a joke a few years ago, not realising hens go indoors when it gets dark and don’t need reflective clothing!

On her feet she had taped what appeared to be lolly sticks, but when I looked through my binoculars, they were in fact tongue depressors, where they came from heaven knows! I was about to go out and break up the party when it became clear what they were doing… Ski jumping, Flora put her head down (tail up of course) and slid down the roof like a ballistic missile. When she hit the less steep nest box she jumped up, outstretched her wings and sailed gracefully across the coop landing beak first in the straw. She hadn’t told the others she was starting her run and she piled into them while they were ‘dancing’. Fur and feathers everywhere, I didn’t know hens could laugh so loudly!

A few minutes later the straw had been ‘re danced’ and this time it was Betty Bottom hen’s turn. She managed to get the sticks on her feet but the jacket was three sizes too small, she is a fat old bird! Just as she started her run, I realised the goggles were on backwards, she sailed across the run and landed in the feed trough, missing the soft straw by some margin.

I gave up watching and advised them it was not a summer Olympic sport but one exclusively for the winter Olympics that are occurring in 2022. They used language hens shouldn’t know and they all trudged off… apart from Betty Bottom hen who had used gaffer tape to secure her sticks, she was rolling around try to tear it off with her beak, I often wonder why hens don’t have teeth?

I was just settling into the armchair in utter despair I heard ‘Oi Baldy, where our apples you promised us in 2001’ I hate hens, they continue to have me over!

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