Monday, March 3, 2008

musical roosts

the complexities of roosting door, rooster, wings
the complexities of roosting

When it's time to shut the coop door, does one just say, "Night, night, birds" and shut the door as usual? Noooo, one must first pluck a Modern off the top of the hutch and put her inside. Then one must fetch two Americaunas from inside the hutch. It is not easy to reach both arms through a small door, grab a large hen, pry her feet from the perch, and haul her out the door, preferably without breaking a wing or cutting one's hand on the wire of the door opening. And then do it again.

When grabbing a hen, it's best to hold her wings against her body; otherwise she'll flap madly and you'll have a hard time restraining her. But when trying to do that while reaching arm's length into the hutch, the simple grab isn't always effective.

Here's a tip: when you put the hen on the ground, which you need to do to get a better grip on her, run your hand with a little bit of pressure down her back. She'll flatten her back and stand still, not because she loves your gentle touch but because you have just imitated a rooster about to mount her. Works way better than hypnotism.

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