A few weeks ago, I sold a hen to some really nice folks at the Farmer's Market. She had seemed such a docile little thing that we thought she would be fine going to live with their other three hens.
It seems that Tulullah (as she came to be called) became possessed. I don't mean just a little strange. I mean evil. Pure and simple, Evil!
She would chase their hens, peck at the nice people trying to give her a really nice house, scorn their feed and was just a really terrible adopted daughter. This went on for two and then three weeks! Bless their hearts! The new "parents" tried so hard to be good to her, but she was having No Part Of It. Talk about ingratitude...
Finally, it was decided she would come back here. It was just too stressful and upsetting for them to have a hen who didn't want to be a part of the family and I certainly understood that. We went through this with a lab a number of years ago and all of us, dog included, were just purely miserable. So, I was happy to welcome her back to the, um, flock.
I went to their car in the farmer's market parking lot to get her out. Now, I have handled chickens nearly all my life and I know how to catch them. Reaching in, I grabbed her wings against her body and lifted her out. Somehow, I still don't know how, she twisted and jerked and, whoops, right out of my fingers she went, leaving a goodly number of wing feathers in my hands. She took off under the car and wouldn't come out except to taunt us.
She would walk out one side. We'd try to catch her. She run to the other. We'd try again. We tossed feed. We called. We shook bags at her. We tried the sneak attack.
Do you know how Absolutely Infuriating it is to try to catch a hen at a farmer's market at rush hour while people are standing around making jokes about "fresh eggs" and "a true farmer's market"? And, do you know how much I giggled everytime we would try to catch her and she would squirt away? And, can you imagine what Not Nice Words were rolling around in my head??
Finally, five of us herded her to the back corner in the lot. We set a decoy. I flagged a bag at her while three folks stood watch at each corner. Feeling pretty cocky (pardon the pun), the Great She strutted around a tire and looked over her shoulder as if to mock our efforts.
SWISH!! A very quick handed gentleman grabbed her by the legs! The Great She cursed, screamed, cried, and threatened to no avail. She was carried unceremoniously upside down, by her legs, to her waiting "carriage" (read: cat box) and dumped in. And here she stayed until this afternoon when I poured her out in the chicken coop.
Don't tell anyone, but I offered the Mean Girl hen ten dollars and all the corn she could eat if she would, er, make the Great She an offer she can't refuse... I am hoping to find nothing but feathers when I go feed this evening....