I think I mentioned yesterday that I had a chicken story.
To set the scene, please, take a look at the photo above. This is our chicken coop. It's not the first time it's flooded, and I'm sure it won't be the last. And compared to some people in Queensland at the moment, this is nothing. But if you would, please take a good look at the photo, just to get an idea of where I am trying to lead you with this story.
Now I don't have any photos of the dramatic events that took place on that rainy afternoon, and perhaps even if I did, I wouldn't post them. Why, you ask me? Well listen to my story and you'll see.
The Great Chicken Save
I sensed even before we pulled into our driveway that there would be some sort of Enormous Chicken Mission waiting for us. It had rained non-stop for nearly three days, and the coop was sure to be flooded... and the chickens, well, they have the brains of a fluffy, domesticated bird, through no fault of their own I am sure.
They were wet and standing in the water when we found them. They like to perch outside as a rule and weren't budging to get under cover.
I knew what needed to be done. Out into the pelting rain I ventured, intent on The Great Chicken Mission. Clad in my pyjama shorts and plastic shoes, I braved the flooded coop to grab the chickens and put them under cover. The two big chickens removals were fine, and I placed them out of the floodwaters in their favourite place near the house, a spot that they like and is warm and dry.
The little bantam removal however, was a different story.
Before I launch into it however, there is something I'd like you to keep in mind.
I keep all my manure in a bay in the coop to let it age. The chickens scratch around in it and break it down, it works really well. Of course this too was under water, and to get to the bantam I had to wade my way through it. I was trying not to think of it when the gunk flowed in through the holes of my flimsy crocs, because I had my hands on the prize, the bantam.
As I turned around, near knee deep in the flooded manure heap, I miscalculated my step and started to fall. With a delicate, wet chicken in my hands...
I couldn't save myself. In the split second that I understood that I was going to fall, I knew that if I landed on the chicken it would be her last day in this rain filled world.
Instinctively I held her up and out, away from my body, and then took the fall, chest and elbows first into the muck. Face and all. As my scrunched up mouth spat out bits of mud, and muck, and manure, I looked up, and grasped gently in my hands was the bantam, safe and sound.
One unsquashed but pretty freaked out chicken.
I took a lovely long hot shower throwing all 4 minute water restrictions to the wind and went out onto the deck to see how they were doing... three little chickens, lovely and dry and sheltered from the rain.
Face first into the muck, they'd better lay well next year.