After spending the weekend at the farm I was driving back to the city on the Sunday afternoon to go to work the next morning. The trip had been uneventful, just paddocks of canola and winter green the best time to drive in the country. As I was nearing Karagullen I passed a parking stop and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a white chicken.
As I continued down the road I thought to myself I really must go back if it was a chicken. It won’t last the night and something would surely come and eat it. I found a safe spot to do a U-turn and went back to the parking spot and sure enough two chickens where wandering around the parking spot bin. Why and who would do such a thing, I guess I shouldn’t of been surprised. I just don’t get people.
As I got out of the car, I wished I had Dirk with me as it would be easier to catch them with two people, but that wasn’t the case. The only thing I had in the back of the car was a dog bed and beach towel. The beach towel became the chosen item of use in the great chicken caper. It was about 5:30pm when the chicken rescue began.
If you have never been to a Australian parking spot, let me take a second to paint the picture. It is used not only as a stop to have some morning tea; maybe check your load if you’re towing a trailer; even just to get out and stretch you leg. NO it has a more horrible use and that is to wee and poo. They don’t even bury it! YUCK! So I knew I had to be careful during the rescue so I wouldn’t get any unwelcome things on my shoes.
With this in mind I lurched into the bush with my beach towel in one hand, determination on my brow and eyes on the ground. The two chickens really didn’t see me as their great saviour, they split up and kept just out of my reach. I would get close to them but not close enough to catch them. I spoke with them and suggested it was in their best interest to get into my car and I wouldn’t harm them but at that stage they didn’t buy my story. It started to drizzle so I decided to sit in my car for a little break and regroup to come up with my next strategy. (Checked my shoes all good so far)
Sitting in my car pondering my sanity, the two chickens came out of the bush and walked around the car and looking at me. This gave me and idea to just open the passenger door and see if they would just hop in. They came to have a look at the car like a couple that might be interested in buying, but they didn’t want to take a test drive. So I open the hatch closed the passenger door and tried to coax them into the back of the car. They didn’t think that was a good idea and took off back into the bush.
Another car pulled into the parking bay but quite far away from me, they got out and did a number one and got back in a drove away so I didn’t even have the chance to ask for some assistance. One of the chickens tried to roost on my bonnet, this didn’t go well and slid down my paint work, oh well.
By this stage it was getting really dark and I told the chickens they had 10 more minutes to hop in the car or I would leave them to their own devices in the wild and they would probably be eaten by a fox.They paid me no attention and wandered into the bush to find a place to sleep for the night.
Back in bush I went, the chickens had found a somewhat vulnerable place to roost. They huddled close to one another and I was able to get close enough to spring the towel on them, the white one took of like lightning but the brown chicken I was able to scoop up and walk back to the car. I placed it in the back of my car and it quietly sat down and seemed happy enough. Woo hoo success.
In the mean time the white chicken had found a small bush to jump up on top of but it’s structure wasn’t strong enough and he toppled to the ground like a flash I had the towel over it. It wasn’t to happy but soon settled down when I placed him next to the other chicken.
Now I don’t know a lot about chickens, so I had no idea if I had hens or roosters, but it really didn’t matter these two had been left there with no water, food or protection and that simply isn’t good enough. They would be safe at Wanderosa, however there was one problem I wasn’t heading for Wanderosa I was heading for the city to go to work the next day.
I got into the car and started heading for the city home. Once into mobile range I rang Dirk and asked him the simple question of, “What to chickens eat?”. He didn’t know what I was on about so I asked it one more time and he asked, “Why did I want to know what chickens eat?” At this point I let him know that I had two in the back of the car. We talked about that I could give them in the morning for breakfast and how the hell we would keep them as we didn’t have a shelter prepared for them. Minor issue.
Luckily on the way home I passed and IGA and they had laying pellets and a big square tub that could be used as a water container. When I got back to the car the lights in the car park had caught the chickens interest and so they stood up to look around. I’m not sure if anybody saw them, but I bet if they did it would be amusing for them to think that some weirdo was driving around with chickens in the back of the car.
Once home I had to think how to get the chickens into the backyard without anybody seeing me. The back storage shed seemed like the perfect temporary home for the birds. Found some boxes and hope that this would be okay for them. I went into the garage put the roller door down so that I didn’t loose the chickens here and have to run around the suburb catching them. As the hatch opened I expected mayhem, however the chickens didn’t flinch as I picked them up and placed them in a box. They didn’t make a peep as I placed a towel over them and snuck them into the house.
Mission over except in the morning the chickens turned into ONE Rooster possible two OMG. The brown on that I will later name as Rex was happily letting the neighbourhood that we had a Rooster in the house. I frantically tried to make him stop and with much arm waving and shhing he settled down and stopped, phew. Off to work I went and hoped that cats in the area wouldn’t come and visit my new team.
When returned from work it was nice to sit outside and what them run around and eat the bugs and the scraps I had for them. I thought to myself, “This could work until I could get them to the farm on the weekend.”
Now the next morning I figured that if I left them in the shed for longer then he wouldn’t crow. Oh how wrong I was, from the second floor I could hear him attempting to get me out of bed. Bad Rex, out of bed, down the stairs to open up the shed I went. They strutted out like they owned the place Rex lifted his head and let rip. I became a frantic woman flapping my arms so much I almost had lift off. He gave it his all. The white one who is now called Wilbur didn’t join thank goodness.
I panicked when I heard windows being opened, slammed shut then people coming out of their houses. One guy was not happy he counted out the number of housed around and couldn’t believe some idiot would buy chickens to keep in such a small area. The dude then started to crow hoping to find out where they were. Holy shit I did everything in my power to stop Rex going for it.
I had visions of a lynch mob coming to the gate and ………………….
As people left for work I realised this wouldn’t work and I had to get them to the farm, I rang the boss and said I need to take a days leave as I had to wrangle some chickens. Thankfully he knows me and wasn’t surprised with my reason for leave. I rang Dirk and said I was coming down and he had better get something prepared to house them.
A quick shower, meanwhile Rex was downstairs doing is best rendition of an alarm clock with a snooze button set to every 3 minutes. I fully expected the Ranger to knock on my door and say, “Madam are you harbouring chickens in your back yard”. Luckily this didn’t happen, I was able to capture the chickens easily enough and place them in my laundry basket with a sheet over it and place them in the car without too much trouble.
Now the mad dash to the farm began, the birds didn’t move around too much which was good I really didn’t want a couple of chickens running around the back of my car for the next two hours.
On arriving at the farm Dirk hadn’t got very far as we only had chicken wire and apparently foxes can chew through that. So we needed an alternative, after some discussions on what we should do, we choose to go to Narrogin to get a coop from there. The ladies at Ballard’s were very helpful and we purchased a rabbit hutch that would do for the moment as a chook house we also got a water and food dispenser. Back to the farm to build the house and move in the chickens who had been placed on the verandah of the shed while we went into Narrogin.
We built the rabbit hutch and realise that it was quite small and the boys, yes both rooster wouldn’t have enough room in it to stay in all day. Hmmm what to do. It just so happens that Dirk loves a good council clean up and had a couple of trampoline frames just lying around. We quickly erected a trampoline corral that the boys could use during the day.
We where pretty proud of ourselves that was until Wilbur flew over the top of the corral to wander around the garden. Damn it. This would have to do for now and Dirk would just have to watch them in and around the garden.
We also thought Flash would want to eat the chickens, he was very interested in these two new things to the farm. There was a moment or too where he chased the chickens around the corral, they were inside and he was on the outside, however this was and is unacceptable behaviour so we correct that. I sat on a chair, got him to sit next to me and when he moved I told him off he got the picture pretty quick and contained himself.
It was lovely to watch them scratch around and work out their new home, I can’t imagine what they thought of it all, but they didn’t seem to fazed by the whole ordeal. At night fall they made their way into the rabbit hutch I closed the door and hoped that the foxes wouldn’t come by and upset them.
We have since purchased a bigger house for them that Dirk put together and they are doing well. Dirk isn’t that happy what they have down to the garden. However our slater problem will be less so that’s a good thing right!
So that is our first rescue, we weren’t ready for it nor expecting it but on the whole I think we did okay and Rex and Wilbur will now be safe and cared for, a win!