of the time when you hear the phrase "separation
anxiety", you think of a time when a parent and child are
experiencing the pangs of being apart for the first time. This story
is a little different.
one thing, it is not about parent and child being separated, it is
about me and one of my chickens.
this new adventure, we have already suffered some losses. We lost one
of our little Mallard ducks (not sure what caused its death). We lost
all but one of our turkeys, due to several
different factors, the last one being a predator. When we found
the hole in the fence (after 10:00 p.m. one night), and a turkey
unaccounted for, we immediately began working on setting up an
electric fence to deter other predators (we do have a problem with
opossums, raccoons, coyotes, stray dogs, etc). By the next days end,
we had our fence up and operating. Two strands around the entire pen.
One just above ground level and the second one about waist high.
Everything seemed to be working pretty well to keep our little flock
safe. I had to be careful going in and out of the pen, as they (the
birds) tend to flock around me. One day a week or so ago, as I was
bringing some fresh plant material to the birds, I reached to open the
door to the pen, and touched the electric fence by mistake. Of course,
I jerked my hand back. The door was standing open, and before I knew
it, one of my chickens flew out. A second one started out after her. I
pushed the second one back into the pen and closed the door. As my big
chocolate lab, Sassie was with me, I paused to go chain her up (just
in case she was hungry).Then, I set to work, trying to catch my errant
bird. Poor little thing kept stepping on the electric fence and
squawking her head off (the power to the fence was hooked up inside a
building toward the other end of the yard). She then disappeared
through the property line fence at the back of our property, into a
wooded area. All this commotion began at about dusk. Well, my husband
came out to see what the commotion was about and tried to help me.
a few minutes, she came back out, headed straight toward the pen
again, and stepped right back onto the fence again, squawked some
more, and headed back into the woods. My husband
turned the fence off, and we called and called and called. But
she didn't come back. My husband eventually gave up and went back
inside. I turned the light on at the pen and kept hoping she would
come back, even though it was dark. Finally, I said a prayer for her
safety, turned the light off, and went inside. Sounds a little silly,
but I felt heartsick. I had not lost one chicken (so far), and due to
an unfortunate incident, it looked as if my statistics had changed. I
figured one of the wild animals that frequented our neck of the woods,
would find her and that would be that. My husband told me to set the
clock and he would get up early the next morning and turn off the
fence, just in case she found her way back. True to his word, he got
up and turned off the fence in the morning. I had resigned myself to
the fact that we had probably lost her for good. When I went out to
feed the birds, guess who was strolling around the outside of the pen?
That's right, the wayward chicken had returned. I was cautiously
trying to get her in the pen when my son came running out to the pen.
I asked him to walk slowly toward her (with the door to the pen open).
When he did what I asked, she came right inside the pen.
is funny, I never thought I would feel such a great sense of relief to
know a little chicken was safely back where she belonged, but it was a
very good feeling.
I went about feeding the birds that day, I thought of the story about
the shepherd who had one hundred sheep, and one went missing.
He left the "ninety and nine" to seek out and bring
home the lost sheep. The story tells of how he comes back rejoicing
that he found the little lost sheep.
me tell you, I was very thankful that my chick had been safe through
the night, and made it back home.