Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Three days at Shawshank

Since there is a chicken currently residing in my home office, I must get this off my chest.  Either Elsie, our RED laced Wyandotte chicken, is channeling Ellis “Red” Boyd, or she has gone broody.  Hmmm, notice the similarities in name....Elsie....Ellis.  No wonder she was the one to go Shawshank on me.
Angry, Broody Elsie refusing to budge from the nesting box earlier this week.

Elsie, the chicken, has gone broody.  What that means:

  •  She doesn't want to eat.
  •  She refuses to leave the nesting box causing an actual "waiting line" of chickens trying to lay an egg this afternoon.
  • She is plucking her own feathers to keep her baby “plastic egg”  and her sister's real eggs warm
  •  And she is wreaking havoc with all the other chickens with her growly, moody antics.

All this because she really, really , really wants to have a baby.

Much as I would love to let Elsie nest away and hatch a clutch of cute, little, baby chicks, we had to take drastic measures.  You see, we don't have a rooster so no baby chicks can happen here.  And, from what I understand, if a chicken goes broody and can’t actually become a mom, bad things happen.

  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Aggressive behavior
  • And that really long waiting line at the nesting box
"Red" waiting her time in solitary.

Our only recourse….Solitary confinement in a cool, quiet area.  As I type this, Elsie is sitting in her cell, a dog crate in my home office, with only food and water and a short roost.  Seems a bit sad but this is the most calm she has been in three days.  From what I've read in various chicken blogs, she will be in the office for a few days before getting parole and then it might go something like this…

2014 Parole Hearings Woman: Elsie chicken, your files say you've served 3 days of a broody chicken sentence. Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?
Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
2014 Parole Hearings Woman: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin the chicken society...
Red: I know what you think it means, missy. To me, it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young ladies like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
Red: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid chicken who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to her. I want to try to talk some sense to her, tell her the way things are. But I can't. That chicken’s long gone, and this old bird is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, missy, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a chicken shit….

Stay tuned to see just when Elsie gets parole and is allowed back in the yard with her sisters.

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